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All rights reservad 

Copyright, 1907, 

Set up and electiotyped. Published April, 1907. 
Reprinted August, September, October, 1907; 
January, June, 1908. 

J, 8. CuBhlng & Co. — Berwick & Smith Co. 
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A. 


This book is intended primarily for students of edu- 
cation in universities, training scho 'Is, and normal 
schools, who are preparing for classroom teaching, 
especially in the elementary grades. It aims, first, to 
furnish the prospective teacher with a compendium of 
precepts that will aid him in the mastery of technique ; 
secondly, to interpret these precepts in the light of 
accepted psychological principles ; and, thirdly, to unite 
both precepts and principles into a coherent and fairly 
comprehensive system. 

The data have been gathered from four sources : 
first and chiefly from observing the work of efficient 
and successful classroom teachers ; secondly, from text- 
books and treatises upon the subject of school manage- 
ment and classroom practice, numerous references to 
which will be found in the footnotes and at the close 
of the chapters ; thirdly, from the writer's own experi- 
ence; and fourthly, from general psychological prin- 
ciples. Data of the last-named class have, in every 
case, been subjected to actual test before being in- 
cluded in this volume. The writer is convinced that 
a successful science of education can never be pro- 
duced by working backward from highly wrought 
theory to concrete practice. This procedure is a 


survival of the deductive habit of mind which science 
has long since discarded as totally inadequate to the 
discovery of truth. Valid principles of teaching can 
be derived only from observation and induction based 
upon successful school practice. The expert teacher 
learns through a selective process of trial and error how 
most effectively to deal with the pupils under his care. 
If a given educational practice is effective, there must 
be back of it somewhere a valid principle. It has been 
the writer's attempt, first to find the successful practice, 
and then to discover the principle that governs it. Of 
the difficulties to be encountered in this method of 
procedure, the writer is fully cognizant; of the dangers, 
he is not unaware. A given practice may be effective 
in one school and ineffective in another. Many of the 
precepts here presented will not be applicable to all 
schools, but the writer is convinced that practically all 
are appHcable to the typical American classroom. It 
is the teacher who has charge of such a classroom that 
the book is primarily intended to aid ; not that it will 
make the work of this teacher expert from the outset ; 
no book could accomplish that end; but it may serve 
to shorten the period of necessarily amateurish prac- 
tice, — to eliminate some of the early errors, and to 
augment, both in quality and in quantity, the successful 

The manuscript has been read by Professor Amos W. 
Farnham, of the Oswego State Normal School, to whom 
the writer is heavily indebted for many valuable sug- 
gestions. Acknowledgment must also be made of the 


aid and inspiration gained from the writer's association 
with the schoolmen of St. Louis during his service as 
a grammar school principal in that city, and especially 
from the fortnightly sessions of the St. Louis School- 
masters' Club. To State Superintendent W. E. Har- 
mon, of Helena, Montana, he likewise owes a debt of 
gratitude for a fresh and stimulating example of the 
attitude that one may take toward the detailed and 
seemingly trivial problems of schoolcraft. 

For especial courtesies in the furnishing of data and 
illustrative material, acknowledgment is due to Assistant 
Superintendent C. C. Rathmann, of St. Louis ; Super- 
intendent C. L. Robbins, of the Montana State Normal 
College ; Superintendent John Kennedy, of Batavia, 
N.Y. ; and to Miss C. V. Sinnamon, Miss L. L. Love- 
ridge, Miss Katherine Hayes, and Miss Jennie McGrath, 
of the Oswego State Normal School. 

State Normal and Training School, 
Oswego, New York, March, 1907. 

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Introduction i 

I. The classroom the unit of educational system. 
2. The problem of classroom management has to do with 
the effective training of children in the mass ; funda- 
mentally a problem of economy. 3. Complex character of 
education makes a clear perspective necessary. 4. Anal- 
ogy between school and factory; limitations of this 
analogy. 5. Ultimate aim of education must be consid- 
ered. 6. Social efficiency as the aim. 7. Difficulties of 
testing results of education with reference to this aim. 
8. Can these difficulties be overcome ? 9. General plan 
of treatment. 




Routine and Habit 13 

I . System and organization as solvents of the problem 
of waste. 2. Instinct and habit as representing organiza- 
tion and system in the individual. 3. The law of habit- 
building. 4. Analogies between habit in the individual 
and routine or custom in the group. 5. Application of 
law of habit to group activities. 


Initiating Routine: Preventing Waste by Starting 

Aright 20 

I. Importance of a " good start." 2. Preparing for the 
first day of school. 3. Preliminary arrangements. 4. The 


first day's work. 5. The first intermissions. 6. Prob- 
lems of the first day in ungraded schools. 


Mechanizing Routine 30 

I. Problem of the chapter : to justify routine and deter- 
mine the extent of its application. 2. The two opposing 
theories of school management as regards routine : state- 
ment of the "anti-machine" doctrine. 3. Arguments 
against mechanical organization. 4. Arguments in favor 
of mechanical organization. 5. Conclusion: mechanical 
organization may be applied under certain restrictions. 
6. Details to be subjected to routine organization : (a) pass- 
ing of lines; fire drills. 7. (d) Signals. 8. (c) Passing 
to the blackboard. 9. (d) Passing to the recitation 
bench. 10. (e) Distributing and collecting wraps. 

11. (/) Distributing and collecting books and materials. 

12. (g) Orderly arrangement of books and materials in 
desks. 13. (k) Insuring tidiness in the classroom. 
14. (/) Leaving the room. 15. (J) Neatness of written 
work and blackboard work. 16. Monitorial positions. 


The Daily Program 50 

I. Factors involved in construction of program. 
2. (a) The length of school year. 3. (6) The length of 
the school day. 4. (c) Time devoted to recesses and 
intermissions. 5. (^) Subjects to be taught. 6. (^) Rela- 
tive importance of the various subjects. 7. Prevailing 
practice in evaluating subjects. 8. (/) Relation of subject- 
matter to fatigue. 9. The general factors of fatigue. 
10. (£■) The place of general exercises. 11. (^) The 
number of pupils and the number of classes ; typical graded 
school programs ; typical ungraded school program. 
12. Danger of placing too many subjects in curriculum; 
law of diminishing returns in education. 13. Necessity 
of holding to the program. 



Regularity and Punctuality of Attendance . .71 
I. Waste involved in delinquencies of attendance. 
2. Regular attendance should become a habit with each 
pupil. 3. What constitutes a necessary delinquency? 
4. Initiating habits of regular attendance : (a) enforcing 
attendance statutes and rulings. 5. (d) Encouraging at- 
tendance by prizes, privileges, etc. 6. (c) Competitions 
in attendance. 7. Tardiness. 8. Fortifying habits by 
ideals. 9. Should delinquencies in attendance detract 
from pupils' scholarship standing? 


Preserving Hygienic Conditions in the Classroom . 81 
I. Relation of unhygienic conditions to waste. 2. Hy- 
gienic habits of posture ; characteristics of hygienic sit- 
ting position. 3. Law of habit-building as applied to 
posture. 4. The writing posture. 5. Posture in stand- 
ing. 6. Hygiene of eyesight. 7. Fatigue, relaxation, 
and exercise. 8. Personal cleanliness. 9. Contagious 
diseases. 10. Moral health. 


Order and Discipline 92 

I . Problem of discipline concerned primarily with wel- 
fare of the class as a whole. 2. Authority the first con- 
dition of effective discipline ; factors in securing authority : 
(a) courage. 3. (d) Tact. 4. (c) Persistence. 5. (d) 
Scholarship. 6. (e) Justice. 7. (/) Good nature. 
8. Other factors involved in securing order: (a) the 
teacher's voice. 9. (6) Mechanized routine. 10. (c) 
Keeping pupils occupied. 11. (d) Substitution vs. re- 


Penalties 105 

I . Government must always provide penalties for offenses 
against order. 2. Relation of inhibition to order in the 



classroom. 3. Spencer's doctrine of natural punishments. 
4. Inadequacies of Spencer's theory. 5. Necessity of 
helping nature out in inhibition of unsocial tendencies. 
6. Discipline a different problem in classroom manage- 
ment from what it would be in management of an indi- 
vidual pupil. 7. Unsocial impulses must be eliminated 
at any cost. 8. Characteristics of an eifective penalty. 
9. Corporal punishment as a penalty; advantages and 
limitations. 10. Rules for apphcation of corporal punish- 
ment. II. Corporal punishment at most only a tentative 
and extreme measure. 12. The reaction against corporal 
punishment ; consideration of chief arguments that have 
been advanced against its employment. 13. Citations from 
authorities upon corporal punishment. 14. Regulation of 
corporal punishment : {a) necessity of a standard method. 
15. {b) Application by the principal. 16. {c) Presence of 
witnesses. 17. {d) Corporal punishment must not be 
made a spectacle for other children. 18. (je) Corporal 
punishment in general to be limited to pre-adolescent years. 
19. Other penalties : (d:) rebukes. 20. (<^) Loss of privi- 
leges. 21. (c) Suspensions. 22. {d) Expulsions. 
23. (e) Sending to the principal. 




The Problem of Attention 137 

I. Problem of Part II: consideration of problems that 
cannot be reduced to routine. 2. Inattention as a source 
of waste. 3. Contribution of psychology of attention to 
education. 4. The doctrine of ends : the immediate end ; 
primary passive attention; the first law. 5. The remote 
end and active attention : the second law. 6. The remote 



end becomes immediate : the third law ; secondary passive 
attention. 7. The first and second laws oi especial im- 
portance in classroom management. 


The Problem of Attention (Continued) : The Opera- 
tion OF THE First Law 147 

I. Primary passive attention determined by instinct. 

2. (a) The instinctive desire for change and variety. 

3. Application to classroom practice in providing variety 
of stimuli. 4. Dangers involved in applying this prin- 
ciple; lack of persistence. 5. (d) The play instinct; 
field of application in school work. 6. Advantages and 
dangers of educating through play activities. 7. (c) The 
instinct of curiosity ; application in devices. 8. School 
use of curiosity should be temperate. 9. (d?) The instinc- 
tive liking for bright colors, sharp contrasts, and intense 
stimuli of all kinds ; examples of expression of this instinct 
in school children. 10. (e) The instinct of construction; 
application in securing attention to objective processes. 

11. Other instincts to be discussed in following chapter. 

12. Summary. 


The Problem of Attention (Continued) : The Opera- 
tion OF the Second Law 158 

I. Relation of instinct to active attention; instinctive 
desire makes idea of remote end directive over present 
impulse. 2. Idea of remote end technically termed an 
incentive. 3. Positive and negative incentives ; hope of 
future reward or fear of future pain the criterion for classi- 
fication. 4. In general, incentives used in school should 
make appeal from positive standpoint. 5. But this does 
not mean that negative incentives have no place. 6. In- 
centives in which the predominant appeal is negative. 
7. Difficulty of applying negative incentives. 8. Negative 


incentives should be applied only in extreme cases. 
9. Summary. 


The Problem of Attention (Continued) : Application 

OF THE Second Law through Positive Incentives . 168 

I . What is meant by an " acquired interest " ; incen- 
tives high or low, as they involve an acquired interest or 
a primitive instinct. 2. Scheme for classifying positive 
incentives. 3. (a) Incentives that make a positive appeal to 
the instinct of emulation : (i) Competitive prizes of intrin- 
sic value ; use of such prizes is bad practice. 4. (2) Com- 
petitive prizes not intrinsically valuable ; conditions under 
which these may be effectively applied. 5. (3) Immuni- 
ties : in general, granting of immunities from school tasks 
as prizes for effort is bad practice. 6. (4) Privileges: 
conditions under which privileges may be employed as 
incentives. 7. (5) Exhibition of pupils' work: dangers 
and limitations of this incentive ; value if used under 
restrictions. 8. (6) Grades, marks, and promotions: 
reason for efficiency of these incentives. 9. Objections 
against use of these incentives. 10. How the dangers 
may be counteracted. 11. Advantages and disadvantages 
of the grading system. 12. (d) Incentives that make a 
positive appeal to the social instincts: (i) praise, com- 
mendation, and adulation ; place of these incentives. 
13. Efficiency of these incentives. 14. (2) Pupils' pride 
in the good name of the school : advantages and dangers ; 
how to be used in small schools. 15. School exhibits as 
creating an esprit de corps. 16. {c) Ideals as incentives : 
what is meant by an ideal. 17. The psychology of ideals : 
relation of ideals to habits. 


The Technique of Class Instruction . . . .188 
I. Method of instruction in its relation to classroom 
management. 2. Classroom management must secure 



attention of all pupils to matter in hand. 3. Greatest 
difficulty is attention during unsupervised periods, espe- 
cially in the study lesson ; hence importance of technique 
of text-book instruction. 4. Difficulties of text-book in- 
struction. 5. Divisions of the text-book lesson: (a) the 
assignment and its two functions : (i) to clear up diffi- 
culties. 6. Formal difficulties that are apt to be trouble- 
some. 7. (2) To develop a need for, or interest in, 
material of the text. 8. Assignments which stimulate 
curiosity. 9. Assignments which give the "setting" of 
selections. 10. The "lecture-assignment." 11. The 
assignment a field for giving oral instruction and still 
making effective use of text-books. 12. {d) The study 
lesson: as test of the assignment. 13. The technique of 
the study lesson : (i) study questions : their structure and 
function. 14. (2) Study topics. 15, Written work in 
the study period should be reduced. 16. (c) The recita- 
tion lesson : fundamental principle, " Hold pupils respon- 
sible for assigned lesson." 17. Question-and-answer vs. 
topical recitations. 18. Rules for conduct of recitation. 


The "BATA\aA System" of Class-individual Instruc- 
tion 214 

I. Sources of waste inherent in class organization. 
2. Necessity for a compromise between individual and 
class instruction. 3. The Batavia system effects such a 
compromise; history of the Batavia movement. 4. Sum- 
mary of the virtues of the Batavia system : (a) it makes 
individual work a definite and required part of the daily 
program ; {d) it insists that best teachers give individual 
instruction ; (c) it has developed a technique of individual 
instruction. 5. These factors safeguard the system against 
inherent dangers. 6. Batavia system "makes good" in 
actual test. 7. General applicability of Batavia system to 
present organization of schools ; the " doubly-alternating ^ 
program. 8. Cautions. 9. Summary. 



Testing Results 225 

I . Can the test of actual results be applied to the work 
of the school? 2. The educated individual must possess 
(a) a fund of habits. 3. (p) A. fund of knowledge. 
4. {c) A fund of ideals. 5. Conclusion: habits and 
knowledge are amenable to fairly accurate tests. 6. Test- 
ing the efficiency of habit-building: {a) purely physical 
habits; posture. 7. Line-movements. 8. {b) Written 
work. 9. Comparison of written work at successive stages 
of development. 10. Testing habit-building in blackboard 
work. II. (<:) Habits of speech. I2. {d) Testing habit- 
building in arithmetic: (i) accuracy. 13. (2) Rapidity. 
14. (<?) Testing habit-building in spelHng; the results of 
Cornman's investigations. 15. Automatically correct 
spelling the test of effective teaching of spelling. 16. Test- 
ing knowledge ; difficulty of establishing a true standard. 
17. The formal examination as a test of knowledge; value 
of the examination as an educative process. 18. Can the 
examination be made a test of ability to apply knowledge ? 
19. Structure of examination questions with reference to 
this end. 20. Examinations should test ability to organize 
as well as ability to apply. 21. Modification of methods 
of teaching through results of examinations- 22. Marking 
examination papers. 23. Summary. 


The Disposition of the Teacher's Time . . . 250 
I. Teacher must be able to concentrate a maximum of 
energy upon problems of class work. 2. Division of time 
between prime school duties and accessory school duties. 
3. The out-of-school duties of the teacher: {a) profes- 
sional: (i) preparing for school work. 4. Correcting 
written exercises. 5. (2) Broader professional culture. 
6. Professional reading. 7. Teachers' associations. 
8. (jb) Hygienic duties. 9. (c) Civic duties. 10. {d) So- 


cial duties, ii. What proportion of time should be 
devoted to social diversion? 


The Teacher's Relation to Principal, Supervisors, 

AND Superintendent 261 

I . Concentration of authority and responsibility essen- 
tial to efficiency of organized effort ; the superintendent 
of schools as the center of authority and responsibility. 

2. The principal of the building and his responsibilities. 

3. Unquestioned obedience the first principle of effective 
service. 4. The relation of the teacher to special super- 
visors. 5. Supervision of rural schools. 6. Summary. 


The Ethics of Schoolcraft 267 

I. Significance of the term "craft ethics." 2. Unsatis- 
factory condition of ethics of schoolcraft. 3. Some of the 
ideals and standards that are being recognized as essential 
to a true schoolcraft : (a) specialization of the teacher's 
work. 4. (6) Members of the teachers' guild must legis- 
late for themselves in craft matters. 5. (c) True school- 
craft will not make excuses for inadequate results. 6. (^) A 
true craft spirit will demand high standards of scholarship 
and preparatory training. 7. (e) It must be insisted that 
teaching is social service. 8. (/) Dogmatism and pedan- 
try must be abjured. 9. Teaching a constructive as well 
as a conservative art. 

Appendix A: Suggestions for the Study of Class- 
room Technique through Observation . . . 275 

Appendix B: Pupil-government and the School City 290 

Appendix C: The "Springfield Questions" in Arith- 
metic 299 

Appendix D: Pupils' Written Work as an Index of 

Growth 301 



The Problem of Classroom Management 

I. An extensive diffusion of education among the people 
is made possible by dealing with children, not individually, 
but in masses. Provided that they are approximately 
equal in age, ability, and degree of attainment, thirty 
pupils can be simultaneously trained and instructed by one 
teacher. This working unit of the educational system is 
termed a "class," a ''grade," or a "room." The last 
term is perhaps the most convenient as a technical desig- 
nation, for, in practice, the working unit, assembled under 
the supervision of one teacher, is frequently made up of 
two or more distinct classes or grades. Whether it is wise 
ever to divide a "room" into separate classes is a disputed 
point in educational policy, but the condition is well-nigh 
universal in American schools, and may be considered as 
representing the normal type of classroom organization. 

The relative merits of the class and individual systems of 
instruction will be discussed in greater detail in a later section.* 
It should be said at this point, however, that the class system 
* See below, ch. xiv. 


has certain advantages to recommend it in addition to the fact 
that it permits a large number of pupils to be instructed by a 
single teacher. While pupils have doubtless been gathered 
together in this way since the earliest days of formal education 
" simultaneous " instruction may be dated from 1680, when it 
was first introduced into the Christian Brothers' schools by 
Father La Salle of Rheims, the founder of this Society. The 
practice extended gradually to other schools, until to-day 
it is the usual method of school organization in all civilized 

2. The problem of classroom management has to do 
with the effective treatment of this ''room" or unit-group 
of pupils. Primarily it is a problem of economy : it seeks 
to determine in what manner the working unit of the school 
plant may be made to return the largest dividend upon 
the material investment of time, energy, and money. 
From this point of view, classroom management may be 
looked upon as a "business" problem. The handling of 
children in masses is its central point of interest. How to 
secure the best results from an educative process carried 
on under this condition is the question for which it seeks 
an answer. 

3. In a complex process, like education, it is always 
necessary to keep a clear perspective. One is apt to con- 

^ Cf. J. Landon, School Management, Boston, 1884, p.- 151: "The 
system was early employed in Austria, and soon became general in Hol- 
land and Germany. It was adopted here and there in France from its 
first introduction. After 1840 it began to extend rapidly, and it is now 
in use in the majority of French schools. ... As might be expected, 
the various schemes of simultaneous organization all resemble each other 
in general features, though each local variety has its peculiarities." 


fuse means and ends : the means are concrete and tangible, 
the ends are often abstract and ideal. Thus the teacher 
accepts the dictum that silence, good order, ''discipline," 
punctuality, etc., are self -justified — that these things are, 
in themselves, real ends of "school keeping. '^ This error 
of perspective may not work injurious results under normal 
conditions. The true ends of good order, discipline, etc., 
may be gained, although the teacher may be quite unaware 
of what these ends really are. But lack of perspective 
may easily cause some serious misplacements of emphasis, 
if not more disastrous consequences, under exceptional 
conditions. The waves of fads and reforms that sweep 
through the educational system at periodic intervals will 
have but little detrimental influence upon the teacher 
whose theoretical foundations are firm and stable; but 
the teacher who lacks secure moorings is tossed from wave 
to counter wave, until he either loses his bearings entirely 
or collapses from mal de mer. One who maintains good 
order and discipline for no other reason than that one has 
been told that it is "the thing to do" is often the first to 
fall under the spell of the faddist who proclaims that dis- 
ciplinary processes unduly repress the child ; deprive him 
of the spontaneity and freedom that are his dearest birth- 
rights ; and are, in general, to be looked upon as relics of 

It is for this reason that an adequate foundation in educa- 
tional psychology and in the general theory of education is so 
essential to every teacher; and it is for this reason that every 
effort should be made to discover the fundamental laws that 


underlie the educative process and so to make possible an edu- 
cational psychology upon which there shall be universal agree- 
ment. The classroom teacher needs a sound theoretical foun- 
dation in a measure that is not even approached by the rank 
and file of other crafts and professions. The almost infinite 
possibilities of education make the influence of even the 
humblest subordinate a matter of tremendous import. If op- 
portunities are neglected, if wrong principles are applied, if 
true principles are misinterpreted, conditions may result which 
are all the more disastrous because their insidious character 
cannot be detected perhaps until years have elapsed. Even 
the educational psychology that is now available is sufficient 
to develop in any teacher an acute sense of his responsibility if 
nothing more. And a sense of responsibility will do much 
toward preserving one's equilibrium in a whirlwind of conflicting 
theories and antagonistic practices. 

4. The '* business" concept on of the school must be 
viewed in this perspective of means and ends. The school 
resembles a factory in that its duty lies in turning a cer- 
tain raw material into a certain desired product. It differs 
from a factory in that it deals with living and active, not 
with dead and inert, materials. Because of this vital factor, 
the material with which the school deals is influenced by 
all the forces of the environment, and not alone by those 
that are consciously designed to mold it to the desired 
form. Some of these forces — those of the home and of 
the street, for example — are largely beyond the pale 
of the school's influence. There are, however, certain 
activities of the school itself which exert a profound 
influence over the pupil's life, and yet which are not 
generally recognized by teachers as vital elements in 


the educative process. School studies are supposed to 
"educate"; the personality of the teacher is recognized 
as an influencing factor ; and the notion is slowly grow- 
ing that the physical surroundings of the pupil — the 
buildings, the walls of the rooms, the hallways, the 
yards — exert a formative influence that cannot be neg- 
lected. But even those who will agree with all of this 
sometimes fail to appreciate the fact that, in such details 
as passing books and writing materials, passing to and 
from the blackboard, getting wraps, preserving silence and 
good order, an educative influence is being exerted that 
may equal in value the influence of lessons and recita- 

This, then, is the factor that makes school management 
so different from the management of other business insti- 
tutions. The very forms that school management adopts 
to make the lessons and the recitations effective are, in 
themselves, vital factors in the educative process. 

For example : Assuming that a thoroughgoing mastery of the 
multiplication tables is essential to the educated individual, it 
becomes the province of classroom management to see to it 
that this mastery is attained by all of the members of a given 
class with as little waste of time and effort as is possible. It 
may be proved that the fear of an examination, or of failure, 
or of the loss of a privilege, or of a physical punishment, will 
result in an intense application of the pupil to the tables, and 
so insure the desired mastery with a minimal expenditure of 
time and of the teacher's energy. If one of these incentives 
were found to work most economically, the problem of manage- 
ment in this connection would, superficially speaking, be solved. 


But it will be readily seen that an incentive might be thoroughly 
effective in this narrow and superficial way, and yet work an 
irremediable injury to the pupil. 

Again, an accurate mastery of the mechanics of reading may 
be assumed as essential to the educated individual. Class- 

^room management must provide conditions that will insure this 
mastery. Perhaps nothing leads more quickly to this mastery 
than to have each pupil in the class watch for the mistakes that 
other pupils make, and point out the correct form to the one 
who is in error. By adopting this device, the teacher can assure 
himself that every pupil in the class will give the lesson his 
undivided attention, and that every pupil who reads will strive 
as strenuously as he can to avoid mistakes. The desired end 
is gained — but classroom management must go farther than the 
attainment of superficial ends, no matter how desirable these 
may be. It must inquire into the effect upon the pupil of the 
means that are employed to reach the end. It must consider 
I the net results — which, in the instance cited, will probably be 
detrimental in that the pernicious habit or attitude which we 
characterize as hypercritical or pedantic is developed by the 
practice in question. 

Another instance : Punctuality and regularity of attendance 
are essential if the school is to be operated with a minimum of 
waste. From the narrow point of view, classroom management 
fulfills its function in this regard when all pupils attend regu- 
larly and punctually upon all the sessions of the school. From 
the narrow point of view, such a result would represent the 
acme of efficiency for classroom management; but it is clear 
that the strenuous measures that would be essential to the ful- 
fillment of such a condition would work injury and injustice 
out of all proportion to the value of the result obtained. 

5. It may be concluded, therefore, that the measures 
which classroom management adopts to prevent or elimi- 


nate waste must always be considered, not only with refer- 
ence to the specific end sought, but also in the Ught of the 
much broader end of education in general. 

Can the ultimate end of education be so definitely stated 
as to form an adequate guide or criterion for questions of 
this sort? This depends obviously upon the character of 
the aim that one adopts. If one has distinctly in mind 
certain definite and tangible quahties that must be pos- 
sessed by the educated individual, one's judgment as to 
the influence of certain measures upon the development of 
such an individual will at least be better than an aimless 
practice that is trusted to **hit upon" the right procedure 
by chance or accident — and much of our educational 
practice, even to-day, could be subjected to this stricture. 

6. The Aim of Education. Fundamentally, the task of 
the school is to fit the child for fife in civilized society. 
The child, when he comes into the world, is not, like the 
young of most animals, adapted by nature to the life that 
he must lead. During the plastic period of immaturity 
he must be trained and instructed in order to enter, at 
maturity, upon the life that is represented by the social 
world into which he is bom. Education is the largest 
name for this process, and educative forces consequently 
include all forces that influence the individual to this end. 
School education is only a specific kind of education : the 
education represented by the home, the church, or any 
other social institution is equally justified in assuming 
the same name. 

In general, the aim of the school may be formulated 


as social efficiency} Whatever the school undertakes to 
accomplish must be judged in the light of this standard. 
Not only must the materials of instruction be subjected 
to this test, but the methods of instruction must not exert 
an unsocial influence ; and, what is especially important 
in the present connection, the schemes and devices of 
classroom management must meet satisfactorily the same 
requirements. The test of the ultimate aim must be 
applied at every point ; otherwise the work of the school 
will lack system and harmony, and adequate results will 
be secured only through the operation of the law of 

7. It is not to be assumed, of course, that a rigid appli- 
cation of this test is possible in the present state of our 
knowledge, (a) Not all authorities are agreed upon the 
essential characteristics of the socially efficient individual. 
Nevertheless there is sufficient agreement for practical 
purposes. Every one knows that such qualities as honesty, 
self-control, wilHngness to cooperate, a certain measure of 
amiabiUty, and a certain measure of altruism or social 
spirit, are essential to one who is to live and deal with 
one's fellows; and every one knows that the antitheses 
of these quaUties tend to render one socially inefficient. 
There can be no disagreement upon points so manifest 
as these, (b) Again, it is often impossible to state with 
certainty whether a certain method or a certain device 

* See the theoretical discussion of this aim in the writer's Educative 
Process, New York, 1905, ch. iii; cf., also, M, V. O'Shea: Education as 
Adjustment, New York, 1903, chs. vi, vii. 


will operate favorably or unfavorably with regard to these 
or other desired qualities. The actual results of the teach- 
er's labor cannot be accurately determined until years after 
the work has been done ; by that time, it may be, the 
methods have been forgotten and the teacher himself per- 
haps has gone to his reward. But, while this assertion is 
not to be doubted, it is none the less true that sober re- 
flection and a careful weighing of probabiUties will enable 
one to judge with some degree of accuracy ; and anything 
that approaches rigidity and exactness, even remotely, is 
vastly to be preferred over the **hit-or-miss'' manner of 
dealing with troublesome questions that has so long made 
education a butt of ridicule for members of other crafts 
and professions. 

We are speaking here of the influence upon social qualities 
of the methods and devices of instruction and management. 
The same question may be asked concerning subject-matter 
of instruction. The whole problem is, beyond doubt, one 
of the most intricate and involved that science has ever 
attempted to solve. If a test for intellectual growth were 
sufficient, the task would be difficult enough; but intellectual 
growth and development is so inextricably bound up and 
wound about with emotional factors practically defying analy- 
sis or reduction to quantitative and numerical terms, that a 
complete and satisfactory solution would seem to be far in 
the future. Nevertheless, the difficulty of a problem is not a 
plausible excuse for neglecting it. Here, as elsewhere through 
the realm of scientific investigation, patience and perseverance 
cannot fail gradually to overcome what seem at the outset to 
be insuperable obstacles; and here, as elsewhere, the grave 
danger lies in assuming a problem to be insoluble and in set- 


tling back into the easy, complacent attitude of blind and 
empirical practice. 

8. Specifically, the question that classroom manage- 
ment must ask of every device or method that is proposed 
for the ehmination or prevention of waste in the work of 
the school is this : Will the method or device be consistent 
in its operation with the ultimate end of education; 
namely, the social efficiency of the individual who is being 
educated? To consider a concrete case: The "prize" 
system encourages intense appHcation on the part of 
pupils. It makes possible concentrated and sustained 
effort with a minimum of supervision. So far it tends to 
subserve the economy of the educative process. But what 
will be its ultimate effect upon the social qualities of the 
pupil? Does it make him selfish, self-centered, and self- 
seeking? Does it tend to develop in him non-social or 
anti-social ideals? These are questions that must be 
asked and for which an answer must be sought through 
careful reflection and investigation. // is not sufficient in 
such cases to ^^jump at conclusions^^ or to draw one^s con- 
clusions from prejudice and dogma. Evidence must be 
sought and sifted, and generalizations based upon this 
evidence must be understood as having vaUdity only in 
proportion to the number and authenticity of the facts 
upon which they are based. 

But this does not mean that action is to be delayed until 
scientific investigation has revealed absolute truth: it 
simply means that the reflection which precedes action 
should be of the rational, and not of the emotional, order ; 


that all available facts should be considered ; and that the 
question should be viewed from every possible point of 
view and with reference to every probable outcome. 

9. Plan 0} Treatment. The problem for which a solu- 
tion is sought in the following pages is how most efifec- 
tively and economically to subject a group of individuals 
to the educative process. Two general sources of waste 
are involved in the " simultaneous " system of education : 
(i) Waste may be induced by the mechanical difficulties 
that arise in the mere fact of numbers; progress may be 
delayed because the group is ** unwieldy." Confusion and 
disorder, irregular attendance, lack of system, and unhy- 
gienic conditions in the schoolroom are all specific factors 
which demand consideration from this point of view. In- 
asmuch as this source of waste can be largely ehminated by 
building up a number of specific habits in the various indi- 
viduals of the group, and by organizing a system that will 
take care of the mechanical details, these factors may 
conveniently be treated together under the designation, 
*' Routine Factors of Classroom Management." (2) A 
second general source of waste, however, inheres in the 
very system thus produced. The "machine" tends to 
absorb the individual, and the progress of the class is 
measured by the progress of its slowest member. The 
problems of inattention, "scamped" work, "backward" 
pupils, and the varying needs of individuals must be con- 
sidered from this point of view. While the routine fac- 
tors will soon come to take care of themselves, this second 
class of factors must always receive the explicit attention 


of the teacher. In view of this fact, they may be grouped 
together and conveniently designated as the *' Judgment 
Factors of Classroom Management." 

References. — J. Landon : School Management, Boston, 1884, 
pp. 150-153; J. Baldwin: Art of School Management, New York, 
1887, pp. 15-17; R. N. Roark: Economy in Education, New York, 
1905, pp. 7-10; A. Tompkins: Philosophy of School Management, 
Boston, 1898, pp. ix-xiv; E. E. White: School Management, New 
York, 1893, pp. 9-16. 




Routine and Habit 

I. System and organization are the universal solvents 
of the problem of waste. This is as true of social Hfe as 
it is of animal and vegetable functions ; it is as true of the 
spiritual and ideal phases of social Hfe — religion and 
education — as it is of the material phases of social Hfe, — 
"business" and government. Sometimes, it is true, sys- 
tem and organization defeat their own purpose; they 
become ends in themselves, and thus tend to obscure the 
true ends for which they were established. When the 
true perspective of means to ends is lost to view, the means 
naturally become magnified in importance, and the result 
is "red tape" with all of its attendant evils. This degen- 
eration is the Hne of least resistance ; the unfortunate fact 
is that the responsibihty for the evil results is apt to be 
placed upon system in general, rather than upon perverted 
system where it properly belongs. 

In education, the evils of perverted system are the chief 
cause of the violent reactions which periodically affect the 



school system. Such reactions are often initiated by men 
of wide experience and high standing in the educational 
world. These reformers would cut the red tape of school 
organization; discard, once and for all, the repressive 
forces that confine and limit the child's activities; and 
leave teacher and pupil to work out each his own salvation 
in the chaos of confusion and disorder. These frequent 
and extreme reactions are often beneficial in that they call 
attention to useless and wasteful routine, and thus serve 
to stimulate a healthful reform. The young teacher, 
however, should view them with distrust, for the natural 
tendencies of the young teacher are normally all in their 
favor. Youth is instinctively radical; it resents the iron 
rule of estabHshed custom. Age is naturally conservative ; 
the form has been before its eyes so long and so constantly 
that it accepts it as equivalent to the substance. The 
path of progress lies in the middle ground. But to discard 
system and organization entirely is to repudiate the basic 
law of all advancement ; evolution is simply a progressive 
development toward forms that are more and more elabo- 
rately organized, and in which system and coherence take 
the place of chaos and incoherence. 

2. In the life of the individual, system and organization 
are represented, first by instinct, and secondly by habit. 
Instincts are the organized reactions that are inherited 
from past generations — complex systems of reflex me- 
chanical movements that have been built up through 
natural selection in the course of thousands of generations. 
The lives of most of the lower animals are governed entirely 


by imstinct, leaving very little latitude for individual devel- 

Habits, on the other hand, are organized reactions built 
up in the course of the individual's Kfetime. They are 
formed through the operation of consciousness in govern- 
ing the adjustment of the muscles to suit any particular 
environment. Animals that can form habits are, there- 
fore, much more plastic, much more adaptable, much less 
at the mercy of circumstances, than are animals which 
depend entirely upon instinct. Thus mind or conscious- 
ness is the characteristic of the higher forms of animal 
life. It changes, modifies, reconstructs, instinctive ad- 
justments, and then fixes the new forms as habits, thus 
permitting their operation independently of conscious 
control. Mind might be said to stand midway between 
instinct and habit; it is the factor that changes the rigid 
adjustments of the lower forms into the plastic adjustments 
of the higher forms. 

In the last chapter, it was stated that education aims to 
reconstruct the child's adjustments in such a way that he 
will be fitted for the social life. That is, social life — 
civilized life — is an artificial thing. It is developing 
every hour farther and farther away from the plane of 
"natural" or instinctive life. As each generation is bom 
into the world, its members must be taken and readjusted 
— transformed to meet the conditions to which their in- 
stinctive reactions are inadequate. This is done largely 
by building up new systems of habits. 

3. The law oj habit-building becomes, therefore, one 


of the basic laws of education. In brief form, this i^iaw 
may be stated as follows: Focalization of consciousne:>:\s 
upon the process to he automatized^ plus attentive repetition 
of this procesSy permitting no exceptions until autor/iatism 
results. The fundamental significance of this law can- 
not be overestimated. If there is one psychological prin- 
ciple that may be looked upon as a universal solvent for 
educational problems, it is this. If carried out to the 
letter, its operation is as certain and relentless as that of 
the law of gravitation. 

Objections have been urged against this formulation of the 
law of habit-building on the ground that habits are frequently 
formed without attentive repetition. The mere fact of repe- 
tition is held to be sufficient for the formation of a true habit 
and even initial focalization is, by some, held to be unneces- 
sary. The grounds upon which this position is taken are, on 
the surface, quite convincing. It is well known that one may 
lapse into bad habits without effort. For example, it is not 
a diificult matter for one to acquire the habit of rising at eight 
in the morning instead of at six. The habit of giving way to 
anger instead of inhibiting its expressions can be acquired 
easily enough, and so on through a long list of undesirable 
reactions. The discrepancy between these facts and the 
fundamental law as stated above is not, however, difficult to 
clear away. Habits which follow the lines of instinctive tend- 
encies will, of course, be built up without effort. Such "hab- 
its" are, in truth, nothing but instincts; the old "pathways of 
discharge," which have been closed up through drill and dis- 
cipline, may be reopened with a minimum of difficulty. The 
path of least resistance is always downward — is always toward 
the instinctive and brutal, and away from the civilized and 


human. The law of habit-building holds only when habits are 
being formed in opposition to instinctive tendencies; but it 
is hardly necessary to point out that the great civilizing habits 
which it is the duty of education to develop belong to this 

4. Routine or customary action in a group is not only 
analogous to habitual action in the individual, but the 
former is based upon the latter. That is, the "like- 
response" ^ of a number of individuals to the same stimu- 
lus demands, if such response is to become a matter of 
custom, the building up of like habits in the individual 
members of the group. The law of habit-building lies 
therefore at the basis of group routine. 

In its application to classroom management, this prin- 
ciple means that whatever is to become a matter of in- 
variable custom in the classroom must be made conscious 
to the pupils at the outset (that is, focalized), then drilled 
upon, consciously and expHcitly (attentive repetition), and 
held to rigidly, until all impulse, tendency, or temptation 
to act in any other way has been entirely overcome. 

Thus, in the passing of lines, the teacher will give minute 
directions on the very earliest occasion — before bad or inade- 
quate habits have been formed. During several days these 
directions will be brought to the pupils' attention (refocalized) 
just before the lines pass. Perhaps several drills will be given 
at times other than those at which the lines regularly pass, in 
order that a more distinct impression may be made. Abso- 
lutely no exceptions will be tolerated until the routine has 

* Cf . F. H. Giddings : Descriptive and Historical Sociology, New York^ 
1906, p. 182. 


become rigidly fixed — after which time, of course, exceptions 
will not, in the nature of things, be apt to occur. 

5. Most of the difficulties of school-keeping owe their 
existence to the fact that this fundamental law is so easily 
neglected in practice. One begins a process with every 
intent to persevere, but the desire for change and variety, 
the instinctive dislike for continuous effort, frequently 
prevents attentive repetition in sufficient amount to insure 
the functioning of the process as habit. Unless the process 
reaches the stage of automatism, all of the initial repe- 
titions represent time and energy practically thrown away. 
That is, if one starts out valiantly to establish a habit, 
carrying on the repetitions for some time, but becoming 
discouraged before automatism is reached, practically all 
of the effort that has been given to the preHminary stages 
is absolutely wasted. The stages preceding the final 
repetition which induces automatism are necessary, it is 
true, but, taken alone, they are quite without value. 

In school work, a vast amount of time is wasted by leav- 
ing processes at the "halfway house" between focalization 
and automatism. This is true both in the work of in- 
struction (the mechanics of reading and spelHng, the 
automatization of the addition and multiplication tables, 
etc.) and in details of school management. The pressing 
need, especially in the elementary school, is for strong 
teachers who can rigidly "hew to the line" in all of these 
initial stages of habit-building. Even scholarship could 
be sacrificed, if necessary, in attaining this end. The 


demand is for firmness and tenacity of purpose on the 
part of the teacher; not firmness and tenacity for their 
own sakes — this makes the martinet ; but rather a tenacity, 
a steadfastness, that comes from a clear perception of ends. 
Perhaps the best teacher, from this point of view, is one 
whose natural tendencies are all in the direction of leniency, 
but who, recognizing the importance of the end to be 
gained, uses this leniency only to check and temper the 
measures that might otherwise, through their severity, 
defeat their own purposes. 

It is the writer's observation that the rather rare individual 
known as the "born" teacher belongs to this class. Innate 
sympathy for childhood is demanded of the teacher who has to 
deal with little children, but this sympathy must not be of the 
weak-kneed or sentimental variety. Long before they reach 
school age, children become keen in their estimates of those 
who have them in charge. The parent or nurse who can be 
deceived or imposed upon is quickly and surely recognized, and 
probably ninety per cent of these owe their weakness to lack 
of persistence. Disciplinary measures are undertaken spas- 
modically; exceptions are permitted in the operation of the 
necessary rules; and the result is that adequate habits are 
never formed. The situation is precisely the same with the 
weak teacher. His sympathy for childhood may be excep- 
tionally acute, but this will not serve to build up effective habits 
if persistence is lacking. 

References. — W. James: Principles of Psychology, New York, 
1900, vol. i, ch. xiii (also Briefer Course, ch. x); E. A. Kirkpatrick: 
Fundamentals of Child Study, New York, 1906, pp. 350-352 ; E. L. 
Thomdike: Elements of Psychology, New York, 1905, pp. 199-209. 


Initiating Routine : Preventing Waste by Starting 


I. In classroom management, as in other forms of 
activity, efficiency of effort depends in no small measure 
upon the way in which one starts. Psychology teaches 
that "primacy" is a powerful factor in the recall of ex- 
periences; first impressions lend the dominant tone to 
succeeding impressions. The disastrous effects of a bad 
beginning multiply disproportionately the chances of 
failure. In the career of the teacher nothing is more 
important than to make a "good start." It establishes a 
certain measure of prestige in the minds of parents and 
school officers; it has important bearings upon one's 
standing with one's principal and superintendent; but 
most of all it "counts" with one's pupils. 

It is true that the evil influences of a bad beginning may 
sometimes be overcome by strenuous effort, and it is equally 
true that the lessons of experience gained in this way may mean 
much for the growth of the teacher. One may admit all this 
and yet conclude that, if mistakes can be avoided by a careful 
adherence to principles derived from the experience of others, 
a great gain may be made. In the work of teaching, novices 
often fail to profit by others' experience, not because they think 
themselves above learning in this way (although it must be 



confessed that this attitude is sometimes met with), but simply 
because they do not appreciate the significance of the cautions 
and precepts proposed for their guidance; without the experi- 
ence, they lack an "apperceptive basis." This can be suppHed 
only in part by concrete cases illustrative of the way in which 
other teachers have solved certain problems. Many of these 
problems appear very simple and trivial from the outside. 
"Why bother with them now?" asks the novice; "I can solve 
them without difficulty when they make their appearance in 
my school — if they ever do." This is the typical attitude of 
youth, and it is almost always an attitude, not of self-conceit, 
but of self-confidence. It would be far from the purpose of 
the present discussion to destroy or lessen that confidence. It 
is the most valuable asset that any young teacher can possess. 
Without it failure, or something akin to failure, is almost pre- 
destined. The purpose here is rather to fortify self-confi- 
dence by pointing out the quicksands that would swallow it up; 
and the chief of these is a bad beginning. 

2. Preparing for the First Day of School. The "first 
day" of school becomes, therefore, a most critical point 
in the teacher's career, but it is rather comforting to know 
that its critical significance is somewhat counterbalanced 
by the comparative ease with which its problems may be 
solved. As far as the pupils are concerned, every condition 
favors the teacher; to them the situation is novel, and 
the ''new" always demands attention. Thus far the 
problem solves itself. 

With the conditions so favorable for attention and good 
order, preparation for the first day's work should be di- 
rected toward a speedy settling of the pupils into the regu- 
lar channels of the term's work. It is generally agreed 


among schoolmen that, the sooner the regular routine is 
estabUshed, the better will be the results. The custom 
of letting the pupils simply assemble for classification and 
the assignment of seats and then dismissing them for the 
remainder of the day, is to be looked upon as bad practice 
from the standpoint of school economy. It simply means 
that the second day must be given over to more beginning 
work, and very frequently the first week passes with abso- 
lutely nothing accompHshed. If the first week goes off 
in this slipshod manner, the second is likely to follow upon 
its heels with the same characteristics, and by the end of 
the third week, pernicious and time-wasting habits will 
have been initiated. The only way absolutely to insure 
a school against such waste is to make the very first day 
thoroughly rigorous in all its details. Some time, it is 
true, must be devoted to focaUzing and drilling upon mat- 
ters of routine, but some time will also be given to strenu- 
ous instruction and equally strenuous acquisition along 
the lines of the regular work. 

3. The teacher, therefore, has many things to think 
about and plan for before he goes to school on the morn- 
ing of the opening day. The more important of these 
may be listed under the following precepts and direc- 
tions : — 

Preliminary Arrangements, (i) Visit the school some time 
before the opening day. Become familiar with the arrange- 
ment of the building and of the room that you are to occupy. 
Note carefully the entrances and exits. Note the location of 
the wardrobe. Determine the best method of passing lines. 


Work out the routine of collecting and distributing wraps. 
Note location of toilet rooms and closets. Note method of 
heating and ventilation, and plan how ventilation may be pro- 
vided for without causing serious draughts. 

(2) Have upon your desk enough paper to supply material 
for the first day's work for all pupils in case some should come 
without the necessary materials. Also have enough pencils, 
already sharpened, to supply each member of the class. Often 
boxes of pencils will be found in the schoolroom, even when 
the supplies are not furnished free to the pupils. In case, 
however, no pencils are found, it will be economy for the 
teacher to purchase a supply from his own purse. With paper 
and pencils, a day's work can be carried through, even if text- 
books are not available. 

(3) Make certain that the blackboards are clean and fit for 
use. Plan a definite method of having classes pass to the 
blackboard. Be sure that chalk and erasers are provided. 

(4) Look through the teacher's desk for the last term's 
register. In it you will doubtless find a list of the pupils pro- 
moted and a list of those remaining in your room. If your 
predecessor has been thoughtful, you may also find a statement 
of the work done during the previous term. This will show 
you where to begin with at least one of your classes. 

(5) Secure a course of study. If the school has no regularly 
adopted course, use the state course. In any case, the work 
should check with the state course, where the latter is manda- 
tory. Procure the adopted text-books, and plan to start your 
pupils at the point ^ indicated for the grade and class in the course 
of study, unless the record of the previous teacher indicates 
definitely the point that the classes have already reached. 
Every teacher should be careful to leave in his desk at the close 
o." each term a statement of the work done by his various 

^ In such subjects as arithmetic and grammar, the first lessons should 
^^enerally be given over to reviews of the previous term's work. 


classes. This will frequently save the next teacher a great 
deal of trouble and useless work. 

(6) Plan the first day's work for each class, aiming to cover 
in every subject some work with which the pupils may be 
assumed to be familiar. Plan especially careful assignments 
that will provide definite work for study periods in case pupils 
come (as many will) unprovided with text-books. If the text- 
books are furnished free, and if a supply will be available for 
the opening day, the work may, of course, be so arranged as to 
utilize the texts from the outset. This will materially simplify 
the first day's problems, but, unhappily, it is a condition not 
frequently fulfilled. For classes up to the fifth grade, reading 
lessons may, if necessary, be placed upon the blackboard. 
Picture study is available in geography and in language work 
where texts are unavailable. Map study from a wall map, and 
map drawing from a blackboard model, are suggestive for the 
work in geography. In every case, care should be taken to plan 
for real, effective teaching, and not merely for ''busy work." 
Seriousness of purpose must be the dominant note throughout. 

(7) Construct a tentative program based upon the course 
of study. Make this as nearly perfect as possible from the 
theoretical standpoint (see principles of program construction, 
Chapter IV), so that subsequent changes will be limited to those 
details that are demanded by unforeseen contingencies. 

(8) If the school is graded, try to arrange for preliminary 
consultations both with the principal and with the teacher of 
the preceding grade. If the principal does not suggest this, 
the teacher should. Note very carefully any suggestions that 
the principal may make and follow them implicitly. In a 
rural school, consult with the county superintendent, personally 
if possible, if not personally, at least by correspondence. Ask 
definite questions in all cases where you are in doubt concern- 
ing the course of study, the policy on disputed methods o*^ 
instruction or management, the text-books to be used, etc. 



4. The First Day's Work. These preliminary matters 
well in hand, the teacher is ready for the first day's work. 
The following suggestions cover some of the points to be 
borne in mind : — 

(i) Be on hand early. 

(2) See that the classroom is in good condition ; floors clean, 
desks dusted, wardrobes ready for use. Do not complain to 
principal or janitor unless conditions are intolerable. Remedy 
matters yourself. 

(3) See that chalk and erasers are distributed at the black- 
board, or in readiness for distribution by monitors to be ap- 
pointed. In any case, be sure that these necessary materials 
are on hand and in condition to be used, — chalk boxes open, 
erasers cleaned, etc. 

(4) Place upon the blackboard whatever work you have pro- 
vided for your earliest classes. Your program will doubtless 
indicate arithmetic as one of the earhest forms of seat work. 
Have examples upon the blackboard in suf&cient number to 
provide work in arithmetic for all classes. 

(5) Pupils who arrive early should be greeted pleasantly 
and directed to take seats. Many successful teachers require 
pupils arriving before the "first bell" to observe the same 
decorum that they would observe during the regular session, 
so long as they remain in the schoolroom rather than upon the 
playground. Whether you adopt this poHcy or not, it is well 
on the first morning to check any tendency to run about the 
room or to pass from seat to seat. 

(6) It is good policy always to enlist the aid of the pupils 
in helping you about the routine preparatory to the real school 
work. On the first morning, they may, at your direction, dis- 
tribute the chalk and erasers, slips of paper for the names of 
the pupils, the pencils, etc. 


(7) Everything should be in readiness when the bell rings 
and the lines come in. The teacher should direct the pupils to 
take seats regularly in the different rows in the order of their 
entering the room. After this first preliminary seating, changes 
may be immediately made if desired. If there are two classes, 
and if one has aheady been in the room, — as will be the case 
wherever the promotions are biennial, — let the older pupils 
take the seats occupied the preceding term. If all or most of 
the pupils are new, let them take seats as suggested as speedily 
as possible, making temporary changes where necessary to ac- 
commodate pupils to different sizes of seats and desks. This 
should occupy but a very brief period. 

(8) Place into immediate application your prearranged 
plan for disposing of the hats and wraps. If they are to be 
collected, appoint the first or the last pupil in each row as a 
monitor for this purpose. Give clear, distinct directions, and 
enforce these directions rigidly from the outset. If the wraps 
are to be left in the wardrobe as the pupils pass in, have the 
lines file out and return to the room according to your plan, 
depositing their wraps as they pass. The manner in which you 
handle this, the very first bit of routine, will have a large share 
in determining the first impression that you leave with your 

(9) When this has been accomplished, the time is opportune 
for your opening remarks, if you wish to make any. Let these 
be brief, clear-cut, and devoid of threats, cant, or platitudes. 
Especially guard against ''soft soapiness." A song is also in 
place if you can select one which is familiar to all the pupils, 
and lead it well yourself. Devotional exercises are in place 
unless prohibited by law, ruling, or public sentiment. 

(10) After these preliminaries direct each pupil to write his 
name upon the slip of paper handed to him. Have the first 
pupil in each row collect the slips, placing his own at the bottom 
of the bundle, and the others in order. As the slips of each 


row are brought to you, place a rubber-band about them, 
then arrange the bundles across your desk in the order of tk 
rows. You will then be able, with a minimum of trouble, 
to find the name of any pupil by reference to the slips belong- 
ing to his row. 

(ii) All this should occupy but a brief period of time — 
certainly not more than twenty minutes — and from this time 
on, in a two-class or three-class room, the regular program 
should be adhered to. Assign work to the more advanced 
class, if there are two, or to all but the lowest class, if there 
are more than two. The first recitation should begin with 
this. If the pupils are to come forward to occupy a recitation 
bench, give explicit directions for the passing of the lines, and 
explain the signals that you propose to use. It will probably 
be necessary to give two or three drills upon this before the 
movement to the bench and back to the seats satisfies you. 
The first day's work may very well be devoted in part to such 
drills, but always save time for some serious work. If the 
class passes to the blackboard, drill it several times in the pre- 
arranged movement of lines. 

(12) In an ungraded or rural school, the work cannot be 
begun so expeditiously on account of the time necessarily taken 
up in finding out what pupils belong in the several classes. In 
such a case, start this work of classification immediately after 
the slips have been collected. Let the older pupils group them- 
selves tentatively and then set the different groups at some 
form of seat work. The younger pupils can then be examined 
more carefully and classified. This is a difficult matter to 
handle successfully at the outset, and changes will probably 
be found necessary in several instances. Up to the fifth grade, 
classification should be based mainly upon the pupils' stage 
of advancement in reading. From the fifth grade on, arith- 
metic is the most convenient subject to use as a test. 

(13) Stop all work a few minutes before recess time to drill 


xo upon the passing of lines. In a large graded school 
, will be necessary to know how all the lines pass to the play- 
ground in order that you may assemble your pupils in the proper 
place. This should be one of the matters learned beforehand 
by consultation with the principal or with other teachers. 

(14) Appoint monitors to distribute pens, tablets, copy-books, 
etc., just prior to the first periods when these materials are used. 
Distribute the monitorial functions among as many pupils as 
possible, holding each strictly responsible from the first for 
the efficiency of his service. Devote some time during the 
first day to drilling the monitors in these duties. Let them 
pass and collect the materials again and again, until they can 
do the work with celerity, dispatch, and good order. If you 
propose to use this monitorial service as a reward of good 
standing (see discussion, Chapter III), let the pupils know 
this at the start, stating that changes will be made at the begin- 
ning of the second week or month, as the case may be. 

5. The teacher wdll find plenty to do during whatever 
time may be at his disposal the first recess and noon inter- 
mission. In the first place, work for the classes that 
come after the intermission must be placed upon the 
boards. Probably some time can be devoted to examining 
the work that the pupils have done in their early exercises. 
In this way some notion may be gained of the previous 
work and present attainments of the pupils, and a gauge 
secured for measuring their application. Doubtless it will 
be found that some of the pupils are not *'up to grade," 
while a few may have been placed in classes below their 
standard of attainments. Notes should be taken of all 
such cases, and the pupils that are very obviously mis- 
placed should be readjusted without delay — after con- 


sultation, of course, with the principal. Care should also 
be taken to furnish whatever reports the principal or super- 
intendent may desire at the close of the first session. 

Just prior to the close of the first session, time should be 
taken to instruct the pupils in packing away books, ar- 
ranging desks in a uniform and orderly manner, etc. If 
pencils, tablets, etc., are to be collected, the monitors 
should be drilled in this duty. 

6. In an ungraded school the conditions are, of course, 
much more involved and complicated than in a graded 
school. The amount of preliminary work is much greater, 
and the chances for a smooth running of the first session 
are much smaller. The general procedure, however, is 
the same in both cases: minute prearrangements that 
shall look out for all mechanical details; extremely care- 
ful prqparation of first lessons; strenuous drills in class 
movements, lines, passing to blackboards, monitorial 
functions, etc. 

The first day should leave with the pupils a distinct im- 
pression that work has begun in earnest, that no time has 
been "frittered away," and that something definite has 
been accompHshed. 

References. — For valuable directions regarding the classification 
of pupils, especially in ungraded schools, see J. Baldwin: Art of 
School Management, pt. ii, ch. iii ; for exceptionally good advice on 
the work of the first day, see a copyrighted article by F. A. Wagner: 
"A Special Method of Class Management," in Western Journal of 
Education (San Francisco), 1905, vol. x, pp. 15 ff. ; also, Roark: 
Economy in Education, pp. 37-40; L. Seeley: A New School Man- 
agement, New York, 1903, chs. iii, iv. 

Mechanizing Routine 

1. In discussing the problems of the opening day of 
school it was impHed that the routine activities of the class- 
room are to be reduced as rapidly as possible to the plane 
of unvarying habit, and the fundamental thesis of that 
discussion was the first article in the law of habit-build- 
ing: initial focahzation of attention upon the activity to 
be mechanized. It is now necessary to justify the position 
impHed, and, in doing this, it will be necessary to treat 
these details of routine on a broader plane than that in- 
volved in their relation to the first day's work. 

2. There are at present two opposing theories of school 
management. The advocates of one theory protest 
against anything that resembles a miUtary organization 
of the schools. The advocates of the other theory favor 
some measure of reversion to the old-time school fashion of 
rigid discipline and machinelike organization. The for- 
mer class must not, however, be looked upon as positively 
approving chaos and disorder. They disapprove of good 
order only when it is forced from without ; in other words, 
all government must be 5e//-government. Nor do the 
members of the latter class indorse the sterner measures 
which the old-time schoolmaster employed to secure the 



desired end. They do believe, however, that some form 
of restraint and control must be imposed from without. 
The chief difference between the two theories is a differ- 
ence of opinion as to the capacity of the child for self- 

There can be no doubt that most of the advanced and 
progressive educators of to-day are advocates of the 
former doctrine. Neither can it be doubted that many 
who hold to the "machine" doctrine are teachers of small 
mental caHber and indifferent training who would be com- 
pletely discomfited were the acme of good teaching con- 
strued as anything more than the ability effectively to 
administer discipUne. When originahty and spontaneity 
of instruction and ability to secure and hold interest are 
demanded, many of these teachers are not equal to the 
task, and they consequently attempt to cover up their 
inefficiency by deriding the worth and utility of a task to 
which they are themselves incompetent. It is an old 
trick — as old as human nature ; but this does not prevent 
it from making the situation rather difficult to one who 
recognizes some measure of justice in their attitude to- 
ward details, while at the same time recognizing the 
unworthy motives that animate their opposition. 

3. One might infer from this discussion that the "ma- 
chine" doctrine is not criticised in and for itself, but 
rather because it may be so easily appHed by mediocre 
talent. This, however, is not altogether true. The ad- 
herents of the "anti-machine" doctrine offer some very 
cogent arguments against mechanical organization by 


whomsoever it may be applied. These arguments may 
be briefly summarized in the following propositions : — 

(i) Mechanical organization disregards the individuality of 
the child. All must act in concert; each must do what the 
others do. 

(2) Mechanical organization is imposed from without. It 
is an expression of arbitrary and despotic rule. Pupils are 
required to do things for which they can see no reason. This 
is contrary to the fundamental principle of democratic govern- 

(3) Mechanical organization imposes a dead and dull back- 
ground of routine which effectively discourages spontaneous 
effort. As a result, the brighter pupils react against it, while 
the duller pupils find the atmosphere perhaps somewhat con- 
genial. This places a premium upon those who are naturally 
the less capable, while those naturally the more capable are 
branded as mischievous and ''bad." 

(4) Mechanical organization in matters properly routine 
tends to ''spread" to matters of a different nature. Classes 
that are led to move in a lock-step physically tend soon to 
move in a lock-step mentally. Memoriter work of the most 
formal type tends to displace rational work. 

(5) Habit is always the antithesis of judgment ; ^ routine 
antagonizes reason. If machine reactions are overemphasized, 
intellectual reactions will be underemphasized. The tendency 
will always be to produce the machine, the automatism ; and a 
machine reacts as fatally when the reaction is inadequate as 
it does when the reaction is adequate. The machine, in other 
words, lacks initiative, and initiative — ability to solve novel 
situations — is the power that is needed to meet the conditions 
of our complex modern life. 

* Cf. The Educative Process, ch. vii. 



(6) If success in mere mechanical organization is held up as 
the acme of effective teaching (as is often the case), teachers 
who are really efficient from the standpoint of instruction and 
inspiration will be discouraged from entering or continuing 
in the work of the school. This work will therefore be left to 
the drill-masters and gradgrinds — men and women of small 
caliber minds. 

4. No one can justly deny the cogency and force of these 
arguments; in fact, they carry certain conviction if one 
for a moment loses the perspective that comes only from 
an adequate conception of fundamental principles. In 
what manner, then, are these arguments inconsistent with 
fund^hiental principles? 

In the first place, it should be remembered that the 
contention is not between organization and no organiza- 
tion, but rather concerns the question. What constitutes 
an irreducible minimum of organized routine ? the " anti- 
machine " camp insisting that it is better to run the risk of 
some waste through too little organization than to incur 
the dangers noted in the above arguments through too 
I much organization. It therefore becomes necessary to 
examine these arguments to determine (i) whether they 
are valid, and (2) whether, having proved their validity, 
one can find some means of counteracting the dangers 
that they involve. One should at least take these steps 
before repudiating organization entirely. 

(i) The argument that mechanical organization disregards 
the individuality of the pupil by imposing the same activities 
upon all, has little force unless it can be proved that no ade- 



quate channels remain through which individuality can find 
expression. This is not apt to be the case, for the organization 
of routine provides only for the invariable school activities. 
Individuality and originality and initiative may still find ade- 
quate expression, and this expression (theoretically, at least) 
will be the more untrammeled because routine has been re- 
duced to habit. 

(2) That mechanical organization is imposed from without, 
and that the pupil sees no reason for its existence, would be an 
effective argument only if it could be proved that that organiza- 
tion for which the pupil sees a reason would be more effective. 
Probably this would be true with children in the period of ado- 
lescence or a little before adolescence, and when this age has 
befen reached, it is doubtless well to explain the reasons for 
routine drills. Prior to this period, however, much time spent 
in explaining the *'why" is time thrown away. Young chil- 
dren may give every indication of perceiving the reason for a 
certain requirement and yet find that requirement just as 
irksome as it would be were the rule stated dogmatically and 
enforced arbitrarily. 

(3) That mechanical organization favors the weaker pupil 
at the expense of the brighter, and, through its unnatural 
insistence upon small and seemingly trivial matters, disgusts 
the latter and incites him to revolt, is an argument of some- 
what greater weight. Still it must be proved that the average 
*' rebel" in school is found among the brighter pupils, and this 
would be extremely hard to demonstrate; even if it were 
demonstrated, it would have further to be proved that com- 
pliance with disciplinary measures is not a good thing, even 
for a bright pupil. Society can bear up under the strain of a 
few geniuses who have never learned the lessons of self-control, 
but these few practically exhaust its patience. 

(4) The statement that habit and judgment are antithetical 
processes is best answered by the equally true statement that 


both are necessary. Here again the perspective, the balance, 
must be kept steadily in mind. Habit is good only in so far as 
it makes judgment more effective by looking after the details 
that are unvarying. Judgment is effective only when it can 
confine itself to the new and variable, confident that habit will 
care for the customary and invariable. Habit may interfere 
with initiative, but initiative without habit would be thoroughly 
unreliable and futile. The discrepancy is fundamental, and 
can be solved only by compromise. 

(5) That mechanical organization keeps from the teacher's 
calling the men and women who can inspire as well as administer 
discipline and instruction, is doubtless true. The inspirational 
type of teacher is usually the type to whom routine and details 
are infinitely irksome and laborious. Yet these are the men 
and women that education stands in greatest need of enlisting 
in its work. So great is this need, in fact, that one might almost 
say, "Secure them at any cost; routine, discipline, organiza- 
tion, even instruction, may be quoted at a discount when inspira- 
tion is in the market." And yet it would seem not impossible 
to find inspirational power combined with a certain delight in 
routine; perhaps not natively, instinctively, but at any rate 
combined through some discipline of experience. One who 
studies educational theory aright can see in the mechanical 
routine of the classroom the educative forces that are slowly 
transforming the child from a little savage into a creature of 
law and order, fit for the life of civilized society. One who 
gains this conception no longer looks upon mechanical routine 
as something that is merely humdrum and static. To see a 
habit take root and grow is fully as fascinating an experience 
to the initiated as to see an idea or an ideal dawn upon the mind 
of the child. It is the latter privilege that is supposed to be 
the reward of the inspirational teacher — the man or woman 
who possesses the true "genius" for teaching. But the former 
privilege may come to be a reward just as highly valued. 


5. To summarize: While mechanical organization of 
school routine involves some grave dangers, there is no 
one of these dangers that cannot be effectively counteracted 
by simple precautions. As long as these precautions are 
takenj the more thoroughly and elaborately routine is 
reduced to the plane of automatism, the better for the 
economical operation of the school. Under this condition 
the most efficient school is one that "goes like a machine." 
The moment, hov^ever, that this machine spirit enters the 
work of instruction, the moment that it becomes the mas- 
ter instead of the servant, the moment that it threatens the 
inspirational and ideal aspects of the educative process, 
it becomes a menace to the ultimate efficiency of the school 
and should be instantly reformed. 

6. What details of school routine are to be subjected to 
this process of mechanical organization? The answer to this 
question will vary somewhat with the grades represented 
in the school. In the lower grades very httle dependence 
can be placed upon individual responsibihty ; almost every 
detail must be looked after expHcitly by the teacher, and 
the more quickly all details are reduced to system and order, 
the more effective will be the routine work of the school. 
In the upper grades, on the other hand, a greater degree 
of individual responsibility can be assumed, although there 
is little doubt that the present tendency, especially in the 
high school, is toward too Httle mechanical organization. 

In general, for the elementary school, the foUovdng mat- 
ters will need specific attention and persistent drill at the 


The Passing of Lines, For the expert observer, there 
is probably no detail of school management that indi- 
cates more clearly the efficiency or inefficiency of the 
teacher than the manner in which the lines pass to and 
from the room. Are the pupils quiet and orderly in line ? 
Do they move energetically (even though slowly) or do 
they "shuffle" along and crowd and stumble? Whether 
pupils should be required to "keep step" is a mooted 
question, but no very cogent arguments are advanced 
against this procedure, and it adds much to the ease and 
facility with which the lines pass. In a "first-class" 
school the lines should pass quietly and in an orderly 
manner when they are not supervised ; but orderly lines 
that are supervised are greatly to be preferred over dis- 
orderly lines that are unsupervised. 

Especial care should be observed in moving lines up 
and down stairs. The best plan is rigidly to prohibit any 
running or "skipping steps" on the stairs at any time. If 
this habit is eliminated, the Hnes will pass quietly even in 
case of fire or other accident that might give rise to a panic. 
The serious responsibiUty that rests with the teacher in 
this connection cannot be too strongly realized. The 
only insurance against panic in case of fire is perfect dis- 
cipline. If bad habits are allowed under normal con- 
ditions, no strength of will can bring order out of chaos 
on an unusual occasion. 

Fire Drills. The fire drill is generally recognized as abso- 
lutely essential in a large school. Drills should be held at 
least once a month, and oftener at the opening of the term. 


They should be given at the time when they are least expected 
both by pupils and by teachers. Ordinarily, the best method 
of emptying the building is to follow the normal formation of 
lines. Thus every dismissal will add stability to the fire disci- 
pline. Unless the cloakrooms are difl&cult of access, pupils 
should take their wraps as they pass out. This preserves the 
regular routine and, when carefully drilled upon, occupies a 
minimum of time. Of course, where the danger of a minute's 
delay would imperil life, the fire drill should not include this 
operation. The construction of the building, the arrangement 
of exits, and the capacity of the stairways must all be con- 
sidered in this matter. It is the writer's opinion that the 
pupils should not be permitted to run downstairs in the fire 
drill. The danger of falling is not to be slightly regarded, and 
an accident of this sort is far more apt to cause panic and con- 
fusion than anything else. However, in buildings that are 
recognized ''fire traps," even this may be necessary. If it is, 
drills should be more numerous, beginning with walking, and 
then gradually increasing the pace until a maximum has been 

In passing from the exits to the gates, it is good practice 
to insist upon unbroken lines. This avoids confusion at 
the gates, and adds much to the appearance of the dismissal 
when viewed by passers-by. The line formation should 
also be preserved until the pupils reach their seats on 
entering the building. 

7. Signals. The verbal signal, "Attention!" should 
be understood by pupils from the earliest grade to mean a 
definite attitude of mind and body. Psychology teaches 
that the attentive attitude of mind is closely related to an 
attentive attitude of the body. Should the hands be folded 


upon the desk, or the arms folded at this command? 
There is certainly no valid objection to either of these 
procedures, and either will effect a very desirable end — 
that, namely, of keeping the fingers from picking up pens 
or pencils that may be lying upon the desk, or from play- 
ing with inkwell-covers : activities which may be initiated 
quite unconsciously and yet which may easily result in 
some distracting noise. In general, the command, 
"Attention!" should be the stimulus for the habitual 
adjustment of the body in a certain definite posture : head 
erect, eyes turned toward the teacher, hands or arms 
folded (preferably the former), feet flat on the floor, in- 
stant cessation of all other school work or activity. 

Other signals may be either verbal or visual. "Turn," 
"stand," "pass" — or counts, "one," "two," "three," 
or simple gestures with the hand or head — may be used 
to indicate that the pupils are to rise and pass. In any 
case, with the seats and desks constructed as they are in 
most American schools, three signals are necessary for 
this movement, and each signal should represent a definite 
adjustment that should be carefully explained and formally 
drilled upon until it is a matter of habit. Pupils should 
arise always upon the same side of the seat ; the feet should 
be moved to a definite position upon the first signal ; and 
the body should rise with equal definiteness and precision 
at the second signal. Ten minutes spent in carefully 
explaining and exemplifying each of these movements 
will be time saved. 

8. Passing to the Blackboard. It is strict economy 


to have each pupil assigned to a definite place at the 
blackboard and to insist that, whenever blackboard work 
is required, he pass to this place. If this is done, uni- 
form movements can be made to and from the board. 
Generally it is necessary to have one row pass at a time, 
and in order to do this with celerity and dispatch, initial 
drills are necessary. 

9. Passing to the Recitation Bench. If the classes 
that recite move forward to the front of the room, similar 
habits must be established to insure economy in making 
the change. Because of the frequency with which this 
movement is necessary in ungraded schools, it is probably 
well, in such schools, to have all signals, save that for 
attention, visual, rather than verbal. 

10. Distributing and Collecting Wraps. Where the 
location of cloakrooms prevents the passing of lines through 
them so that each pupil may take down his own wraps, it 
is necessary to inaugurate a system of monitors to bring 
the wraps into the schoolroom, distribute them, and, when 
the session is resumed, collect them and hang them in the 
cloakroom. At best this system will take up valuable 
time in its operation, and therefore pains should be exer- 
cised to make the movement as effective and economical 
as possible. The first or the last pupil in each row is the 
logical monitor. These should be carefully drilled in their 
duties, being directed to move quickly but carefully and 
to hang the wraps of each pupil in the same place on each 
occasion. After some preliminary drills, a minimal time 
should be set for the work, and the monitors held respon- 


sible for doing it within the time limit. This will tend 
effectually to check any tendency on the part of monitors 
to loiter unduly in the cloakrooms. 

II. Distributing and Collecting Books and Materials, 
In the lower grades, the writing materials — ■ pens, pencils, 
and tablets — cannot well be kept in the pupils' desks 
without much inconvenience. Pens and pencils are 
easily lost or broken, and tablets and writing books 
become soiled. In some schools a lesson requiring the 
use of these materials is always preceded by several 
minutes' waste of time in providing certain delinquents 
with the necessities. It becomes requisite, therefore, to 
keep these materials in a closet or drawer provided for 
the purpose and to distribute them either at the beginning 
of the session or whenever they are needed. For sanitary 
reasons, each pupil should have individual materials, 
especially pens and pencils, and this necessity still further 
complicates matters. A good plan is to have for each row 
a holder made of a pasteboard box with holes punched 
in the cover into which pencils and pens can be inserted. 
These boxes can be quickly passed, each pupil taking his 
pen or pencil from the holder or returning it. By this 
means, too, the teacher or a monitor can see that the 
pencils are properly sharpened before the session begins, 
and that the pen points are in good condition. Tablets can 
be distributed in the same way. Up to the fifth grade it is 
probably economy to follow this method, although it takes 
some time. This is compensated, under an effective system, 
however, by the time saved at the points indicated above. 



Where free text-books are furnished, it is often prescribed 
that the books shall be collected each night, locked in 
cases, and distributed in the morning. This seems to 
be a laborious procedure for rather insignificant results, 
but it has many virtues. In the first place, it prevents 
the loss of books. The teacher can tell at a glance whether 
a book is missing from the equipment of each pupil. In 
the second place, it insures the cleaning out of the desks 
every day, and so prevents the accumulation of debris that 
is otherwise inevitable. In the third place, it necessitates 
the packing of books in a uniform order, and thus makes 
possible the taking of any book without overturning the 
contents of the desk in order to find the book wanted. 
The system requires efficient monitorial service, but, once 
well estabUshed, its operation need occupy but a brief 
period at the beginning and at the close of each daily 
session. Formal drills are again necessary at the outset 
to insure order, uniformity, and celerity in the required 

12. Orderly Arrangement of Books and Materials in 
Desks. If books and materials are not distributed and 
collected daily, the teacher should at least give expUcit 
directions relative to the packing of these articles in the 
desks. A definite order should be prescribed and care- 
fully demonstrated. The pupils should be given drills 
in taking books, tablets, pencils, etc., from the interior 
of the desk at the command of the teacher, and without 
bending down to see where the required article is located, 
or tossing the contents of the desk about in order to get at 


it. At the beginning of each study period, the necessary 
materials should be secured, without noise or confusion, at 
a simple signal from the teacher. At the beginning of the 
recitation they should be replaced as quickly and quietly. 
13. Insuring Tidiness of the Classroom. There are 
many conditions in a classroom that make for untidiness. 
Papers are easily dropped upon the floor, pencil sharpen- 
ings are scattered about, ink is spilled, bits of crayon fall 
from the chalk trays and are tramped into the floor, 
muddy shoes leave visible and tangible traces in wet 
weather. All of these conditions must be counteracted 
by specific routine. It is safe to lay down a rule that no 
work done on paper should escape the supervision of the 
teacher ; an obvious corollary of this rule is that an over- 
plus of written work should be avoided. If this poHcy 
is carried out rigidly, the tearing up of papers or the 
leaving them upon the desks where they will readily drop 
to the floor, will be easily prevented. Papers should be 
collected by monitors or passed to the front of each row 
after every period when written work is required. It is 
not enough that such papers be inspected by the teacher; 
the pupils should have visible evidence of this. Conse- 
quently the papers will, as a rule, be returned with the 
corrections, and the corrections will be studied by the 
pupils. This done, the papers should again be collected 
and either filed for future reference or destroyed. The 
former plan will enable the teacher or principal to make 
comparisons of the work done by pupils at successive 
periods during the term, while knowledge that the papers 


are to be preserved and filed for this purpose will probably 
have a salutary effect upon the pupils' work. In any case, 
it is safe to say that a continually overflowing waste-paper 
basket is generally an indication of ineffective teaching, 
although if waste paper is to be found anywhere in a 
schoolroom, it should certainly be in a basket. 

Pencil sharpenings will not be a source of untidiness if 
the pencils are collected and a monitor appointed to look 
after their sharpening either after school or before the 
opening of the session. This plan is commonly followed 
in the lower grades, but it could be made general through- 
out the elementary school with beneficial results. Pencil 
sharpeners which do the work effectively can be purchased 
for a small outlay and should form a part of the material 
equipment of every school. 

For the spilling of ink by pupils who are at work at their 
desks, there is probably no remedy except verbal caution- 
ing and a strenuous treatment of such lapses as are plainly 
due to carelessness, but the ink-spiUing that is caused by 
the hurry of the teacher or pupil to get the inkwells sup- 
pHed just before a writing exercise can be eHminated by 
routine. There should be a daily inspection of all ink- 
wells to insure that each is well supplied before the begin- 
ning of the day's work. This is another matter of routine 
that can be looked after by an efficient monitor. 

Chalk trays should be cleared of all crayon at regular 
intervals — preferably at the close of each day's work. 
This will eliminate the small pieces that otherwise collect 
in the trays and are easily scattered upon the floor. The 


teacher should inspect the chalk trays at the beginning of 
each session and make sure that there is sufficient crayon 
for the work of the day. Holding a class of twenty pupils 
for one minute while a crayon box is passed to supply one 
pupil is to throw away just twenty minutes of valuable 
time. It is through such drains as these that so much of 
the brief time spent by the child in school is time wasted. 

Muddy shoes will probably form the least remediable 
source of untidiness. Yet the efficient teacher can, by 
strenuous effort, develop in his pupils habits that will, in 
a measure, counteract this evil. If pupils understand that 
their shoes are to be cleaned before Hnes form, and if rather 
unpleasant consequences uniformly follow upon a failure 
to fulfill this requirement, it will not take long to build up 
an effective routine in this matter. In some schools, boys 
are expected to blacken their shoes each morning before 
coming to school. This is an excellent habit to develop, 
and it is not difficult to make this requirement and keep 
to it, provided that one meets with no decided opposition 
from parents. A habit of this sort, well developed, will, 
of course, do much to keep the floors free from dirt. 

14. Leaving the Room. The beginning teacher is apt 
to encounter some trouble with regard to this matter ; 
for in view of the rather delicate nature of the subject, 
it is difficult to deal with it frankly and effectively. When 
a teacher is sure of himself and has the discipline of his 
room well estabUshed, pupils in all grades above the fourth 
may be permitted to leave the room, under certain restric- 
tions, without asking permission ; but it is not wise for the 


beginning teacher to grant this privilege at the outset, 
for with the average child constituted as he is, it is a 
privilege that is certain to be abused. On the other hand, 
the constant interruption of pupils asking for permission 
is a serious source of inconvenience. The best plan is to 
say nothing about the matter until the interruptions be- 
come so numerous as to be a disturbing factor. When 
this time comes, the pupils who ask most frequently should 
be spoken to privately to discover, if possible, whether the 
necessity really exists. In case the pupil states that it is 
necessary to leave the room more than once in a session, 
the teacher should request a written statement from 
parent or physician to that effect, and then make a special 
case of this particular pupil, allowing him the privilege 
without requiring a request each time. 

With the normal child, however, regular habits should 
be speedily established with regard to the bodily func- 
tions. With a recess each session, the number of pupils 
requesting to leave the room during class hours should be 
reduced to a minimum. In some schools the lines are 
passed to the latrines and closets at each recess before 
being allowed to go upon the playground, and this will 
gradually control the difficulty. One teacher of the 
writer's acquaintance, who was greatly troubled by this 
matter in a new school, kept his boys after dismissal one 
evening and talked to them good-naturedly but seriously 
about the necessity for forming regular habits, suggesting 
that the bowels be encouraged to move every morning 
before school time. The talk had a good effect, not only 


upon the discipline of the school, but also upon the health 
of the pupils. This matter is comparatively simple for a 
male teacher to deal with in the case of boys, but presents 
greater difficulties for a woman teacher. Nevertheless, even 
in such cases, private admonition would probably have a 
good effect, and a tactful teacljier should be able to make 
suggestions without causing embarrassment to either party. 

In general, it is safer to run the risk of having the privi- 
, lege abused than to run the counter risk of causing bodily 
injury to the pupil, especially through the retention of 
urine. For the beginning teacher, a poHcy of wide lati- 
tude in this matter is far safer than one of close restriction. 

15. Neatness of Written Work and 0} Blackboard 
Work. One of the most accurate indices of a teacher's 
efficiency is the character of the papers and of the black- 
board work that his pupils produce. These matters may 
not appear, at first thought, to be of profound importance, 
and it is true that their significance may in certain instances 
be overestimated. Nevertheless scientific investigation ^ 
indicates that accuracy in handwriting varies directly as 
general school intelligence; in general, the better the 
handwriting — that is, the more accurate — the higher 
the mental attainments of the pupils. In any case, the 
ability to train pupils to produce accurate written work is 
a fairly good index of the teacher's general capacity in 

^ Cf. A. L. Gesell: "Accuracy in Handwriting as Related to School 
Intelligence and Sex," in American Journal of Psychology, 1906, vol. xvii, 
pp. 394-405. 


Accurate written work, whether on paper or on the 
blackboard, involves several specific features, each one of 
which can and should be reduced to the plane of au- 
tomatism, (a) The writing itself must be legible. This 
means that the letters must be uniform in height, and that 
each letter must possess sufficient individual pecuharity 
to permit its ready recognition. (6) The spaces between 
letters and between words must be uniform and sufficient 
in extent, (c) The arrangement of the written work must 
present a neat appearance, reveahng through indentations, 
headings, etc., the main relations of the data expressed. 
(d) The punctuation should be meaningful and adapted 
to the conventional but none the less important functions 
that the different punctuation marks fulfill, (e) The 
name of the pupil, the date, and the name of the school 
or number of the grade or room should be placed at the 
head of all papers in a uniform manner. In blackboard 
work the name of the pupil, at least, should appear, and 
it should uniformly be written neatly and without super- 
fluous flourishes (a trivial matter, it may seem, but a very 
important index of the "taste" that is being developed in 

Advice with regard to the details just mentioned is very 
frequently couched by supervisors in very general terms: 
"Get better writing"; "Make your blackboard work 
neater"; "Improve the form of your papers." This 
advice frequently fails of effect for the reason that the 
teacher does not recognize the specific nature, of the habits 
that he attempts to impress. Neat papers and neat black- 


board work involve a number of little, specific habits, and 
each of these must be taken up and drilled upon apart 
from the others, and, in some measure, apart from the 
content or thought of the work that is being expressed. 
16. From the foregoing discussion it is manifest that 
there will be a number of monitorial positions to be filled 
by pupils whenever this system of routine is adopted. 
While some of these monitors will be chosen from those 
occup)dng convenient seats, the majority of the positions, 
and especially those involving some measure of trust or 
responsibility, may be given as rewards for good work. 
This phase of the subject will be discussed in a later 

References. — White: School Management, pp. 94-99; Roark: 
Economy in Education, pp. 40-44; J. S. Taylor: Class Manage- 
ment and Discipline, New York, 1903, pp. 42-43 ; Baldwin : Art of 
School Management, chs. iv, vi; Landon: School Management, 
pp. 109-111. 

The Daily Program 

1. To secure a maximal degree of efficiency in its work 
the school must make the most effective use of the time 
at its disposal. This is a complex problem, involving the 
adjustment of several determining factors. Among these 
the following require detailed consideration: (a) the 
length of the school year, (b) the length of the school day, 
(c) the time devoted to recesses and intermissions, (d) the 
subjects required, (e) the relative importance of these 
subjects at dififerent levels of the child's development, 
(/) the relation of different types of subject-matter to 
fatigue, (g) the general factors of fatigue, and the sig- 
nificance of these factors to recesses, rest-periods, etc., 
(h) the time devoted to general exercises of all kinds, 
(i) the number of pupils and the number of separate classes 
for which each teacher must be responsible. As in the 
preceding discussions, these factors will be treated in their 
relation to the classroom teacher rather than in their 
broader significance to the duties of the principal, the 
superintendent, or the school board. 

2. The Length 0} the School Year. This is com- 
monly determined either by statutory enactment or by 
the decision of local school boards. In graded schools 



it is usually either thirty-six or forty weeks; in rural 
schools seldom more than thirty-six weeks, and generally 
much less. The tendency at present is probably toward 
a longer school year, both in the cities and in the rural 
districts. The length of the school year has two relations 
to the daily program: (a) If the school year is very 
short, the daily program must emphasize the studies that 
are admittedly important in elementary education, and 
minimize those that are less important ; thus a city school 
that is in session forty weeks of the year might devote per- 
haps thirty minutes each day to music, while a rural school 
that is in session only twelve weeks could not possibly 
justify so long a period, (b) If the school year includes all 
or a part of the summer months, the daily program must 
be so adjusted as to give the maximum of "hea;vy" work 
during the cooler season of the year and the minimum 
during the heated season. 

3. Length 0} the School Day. This is, of course, 
the prime controUing factor in the gross structure of the 
program. The traditional length of the school day in the 
United States is six hours, — 9 a.m. to 12 M. and i p.m. 
to 4 p.m. Although this is somewhat shorter than the 
school day in foreign countries — notably Germany — 
the prevailing tendency seems to be still further to abbre- 
viate it. At the present time there are very few city schools 
that have a six-hour school day, and the rural schools are 
coming to cut it down, generally by giving a somewhat 
longer noon intermission. In practically all schools the 
school day for the first two years is from thirty to sixty 


minutes shorter than that for the remaining years of the 
course. The classroom teacher, as a rule, has nothing to 
do with determining the length of the school day, except 
with the lower classes in ungraded schools. In such cases, 
and in the absence of ruUngs of the board to the contrary, 
the teacher should, if possible, dismiss the first and second 
grade pupils not later than 1 1 : 30 in the morning and 
3:15 in the afternoon. The third-grade pupils may be 
kept until noon for the morning session and until 3 : 30 
for the afternoon session. This is sometimes out of the 
question in rural schools where the younger pupils must 
wait for their older brothers and sisters. In such cases the 
program should be so arranged as to permit the first and 
second grade pupils to do the hghtest part of their work 
in the later periods. In good weather, and if other 
conditions are favorable, they should be permitted to play 
out of doors. 

4. Time devoted to Recesses and Intermissions. This 
must, in all cases, be subtracted from the total time 
of the school day in order to determine the amount avail- 
able for actual school work. With two sessions of three 
hours each, the rule is invariable to give at least fifteen 
minutes in the middle of each session to "free play" in the 
open air. When the afternoon session is reduced to two 
and one half or to two hours, as it is in many of the city 
systems, the afternoon recess is shortened to ten minutes 
for all grades up to the fifth or sixth, and omitted entirely 
for grades above this point. The tendency to do away 
with all recesses is probably to be condemned in the light 


of Studies on fatigue.* It is probably best to have the recess 
in each session begin at a point midway between the open- 
ing and close of the session, thus making the periods after 
recess a little shorter than those before recess. 

5. The Subjects to he Taught. The responsibiHty of 
determining the subjects of instruction seldom rests with 
the classroom teacher. In case the local or county 
authorities do not prescribe a definite course of study, that 
prescribed by the state department of public instruction 
should be used. The teacher frequently has some lati- 
tude, however, with certain "accessory" subjects (draw- 
ing, music, nature study, agriculture, etc.), especially in 
schools that are not under the control of a principal or 
superintendent. In case such discretionary power is 
granted, it is a wise rule to teach only such of the accessory 
subjects as one can handle effectively. If, for example, a 
teacher is weak in music and strong in drawing, the latter 
is the one to emphasize if a choice is permitted. Much time 
is wasted in the attempt to teach either music or drawing 
by those who have neither a special aptitude nor a special 
training for such work. In general, the fundamental 
subjects should be provided for first, and then whatever 
time can be spared may be devoted to the accessory 

^ " Recess time has been displaced in many places by brief physical 
exercises in the schoolroom. The school appears more mannerly, more 
subdued, more orderly. By this means there is not so much chance for 
lowering the moral tone by speech or action on the school grounds. But 
how about the physical condition of the child?" — W. A. Baldwin: 
Industrial Social Education, Springfield, Mass., 1903, p. 46. 


6. The Relative Importance 0} the Various Subjects, 
The time to be allotted to each subject manifestly de- 
pends very largely upon the importance of the subject 
in relation to others. This must frequently be determined 
by the teacher, although in many systems definite rulings 
are made by the superintendent which relieve the teacher 
from responsibiUty in the matter. 

The prevailing practice in American schools seems to 
indicate that the "form" studies (reading, writing, arith- 
metic, spelUng, and language) are more important in the 
elementary school than the content studies (geography, 
history, Uterature, physiology, etc.). Dr. B. R. Payne,* 
summarizing the programs of ten typical American cities, 
finds that the formal studies receive sixty-two per cent of 
the assigned time, while the content studies receive but 
little more than thirty per cent. In spite of the opinion of 
many competent authorities^ that more "content" work 

* B. R. Payne : Publu Elementary School Curricula, New York, 1905, 

P- 39- 

^ For example, Payne, op. cit,, pp. 197 ff., constructs what he terms an 
"ideal" course of study for American schools in which he allots to the 
various subjects the following per cent of the total time: Scripture 
opening exercises, io%; English (including reading, spelling, writing, 
grammar, literature, and oral and written composition), 27.5%; arith- 
metic, 12.5 % ; geography, 7.5 % ; history and civics, 7.5 % ; nature study, 
7-5%; drawing, 5%; music, 5%; physical training, 7%; and hand 
work, 10%. This maybe profitably contrasted with his findings for the 
ten cities mentioned above: opening exercises, 3.1%; reading and 
literature, 20.7%; writing, 4.7%; spelling, 4.7% ; language and gram- 
mar, 14.4%; arithmetic, 17.3%; geography, 7.2%; history and civics, 
4.8%; nature study, 3.4%; physiology, 0.7%; physical training, 4.7%; 
drawing, 6.4%; music, 5.1%; manual training, 2.4%, It will be noted 
that arithmetic, language, and drawing are cut down in Mr. Payne's pro- 


should be given in the elementary school, the prevailing 
practice receives some support from theoretical considera- 
tions. The preadolescent years which are represented by 
the elementary school seem preeminently to be the time 
for drill, discipline, and the formation of habits, and it is 
these things that the so-called "form" studies emphasize. 
Again it is fairly well estabhshed that an overemphasis 
of content work must, by a law of compensation, detract 
from the efficiency of form work. In other words, the evi- 
dence of practical life indicates that pupils who have had 
the advantage of a very "rich" curriculum — a curriculum 
overloaded with "content" subjects — are weak in the 
formal requirements when they leave the elementary 

7. Wherever the young teacher has an option in this 
matter, then, it would seem to be the wise plan to follow 
the prevailing practice.^ From the standpoint of program- 
building, this conclusion carries with it several corollaries : 
(a) the best periods of the day should be given to the for- 
mal subjects ; (b) if sacrifices are necessary, the content 
subjects should be sacrificed, at least in the lower grades ; 
(c) the bulk of the time should be devoted to the formal 
work ; (d) if any extra periods are available — say five- 
minute periods just before the noon hour, or before the clos- 

posed allotment, while the time to be given to opening exercises, history, 
geography, and manual training, is decidedly increased. 

* This is not to imply that one should do the "safe" thing from motives 
of policy. If the teacher is convinced that the content work should re- 
ceive the greater emphasis, he should lose no opportunity to act in accord- 
ance with his honest convictions. 


ing hour — they should be given to drills upon those phases 
of formal work in which pupils show especial weakness. 

Both this conclusion and its corollaries are somewhat quali- 
fied by the factors of development. The seventh and eighth 
grades belong to the adolescent period of growth, and it is 
generally agreed that, at this time, there should be some relaxa- 
tion of drill, and a greater enrichment of the curriculum from 
the content standpoint. Measures looking toward these ends 
can be easily adopted if the drill work has been well done in 
the preadolescent period, and the programs for these upper 
grades should be constructed with reference to this qualification. 

8. The Relation of Subject-matter to Fatigue. The 
above conclusions must be submitted to another and 
broader quaUfication. The *'form" subjects are, in 
general, more fatiguing than the "content" subjects,^ 
hence they are not only to be given the most favorable 
periods of the day, as is demanded by their greater im- 
portance, but they are also to be arranged in such a manner 
that two fatiguing subjects will not follow one another 
directly. It is also to be remembered that the periods 
devoted to the form subjects must not be too long, else the 
effectiveness of the work will be decreased through fatigue. 
Thus it is sometimes well to give two short periods rather 
than one long period to certain of the formal drills, plac- 
ing a content subject in the intervening period. 

9. The General Factors oj Fatigue. The capacity for 

^ Mathematics, formal language work (including spelling, penmanship, 
and formal grammar), formal gymnastics, and foreign languages are 
most fatiguing according to the best authorities; nature study, geog- 
raphy, history, singing, and drawing are least fatiguing. See citations, 
Educative Process, p. 341. 


sustained attention or work manifests itself in rhythms. 
The best work is never done at the outset, but only after 
a certain inertia has been overcome and a certain mo- 
mentum gained.* The daily "work curve" or "course of 
power," on a school day, reaches its highest point between 
nine and ten in the morning, and then dechnes rapidly, 
reaching a minimum at noon. In the afternoon, the high 
point of the curve is reached shortly after two o'clock, but 
this point is much lower than the morning's maximum. 
The decline is not so rapid as in the morning, but the 
minimum is somewhat lower.^ It follows from these laws 
that the heaviest work must be assigned for the morning 
periods immediately preceding the first recess. The tasks 
that stand next in "fatiguing power" should be distributed 
between the morning periods after recess and the after- 
noon periods prior to half-past two. 

Again the rule is subject to qualification. As was shown 
above, it is not wise to have two difficult subjects — especially 
two "form" subjects — in succession, nor is it consistent with 
good hygiene to have in close succession two subjects that 
involve writing. Practical experience proves that it is best not 
to have writing or drawing or other exercises requiring minute 
muscular adjustments immediately after a recess or immedi- 
ately after the noon intermission. "Class exercises needing 
steady nerves, such as writing or drawing, ought not to follow 
a recess or any time of physical exertion." ^ 

Recuperation from fatigue can be secured in a complete 

^ For authorities, see O'Shea, Dynamic Factors in Edtication, New 
York, 1906, p. 282. 

^ See Educative Process, pp. 340 £f. ; also O'Shea, op. cit., pp. 292 f. 
^ A. N. Raub: School Management, Philadelphia, 1897, p. 73. 


form only by nutrition and sleep, but a partial restitution 
may be accomplished through (i) ''free play" (that is, 
spontaneous activity preferably in the open air) and (2) re- 
laxation. Formal gymnastic exercises have been proved 
to be more fatiguing than any other school "study" except 
mathematics.^ This does not mean, of course, that there 
should be no place for gymnastics in the program, but 
simply that gymnastics must not be looked upon as 
recreative exercises in the popular sense of the term. 

10. General Exercises. It is customary in nearly all 
schools to devote some time, generally at the opening 
of the morning session, to exercises of a general nature. 
These may fulfill several functions: (a) "When carefully 
planned and inteUigently carried out, they constitute an 
effective remedy for tardiness and irregularity of attend- 
ance; they can be made so interesting that the pupils 
will let nothing get in the way of prompt attendance upon 
them." ^ (b) They offer an opportunity to give explicit 
instructions in matters that are not touched upon in the 
regular work of the school. "The teacher will frequently 
have remarks to make to the school, reproof may need to 
be administered, or cautions may need to be given. None 
of these ought to interfere with the recitations of the day." ' 
{c) They offer an opportunity to begin the work of the 
day upon a high plane. It is for this reason that devo- 
tional exercises of a simple nature are thoroughly in place 

^ Cf. O'Shea, op. cit., p. 222 ; also Educative Process, p. 341. 

^ R. N. Roark : Economy in Education, New York, 1905, pp. 49-50. 

' Raub, op. cit., pp. 73-74. 


at this time, unless prohibited by legislative enactment or 
by pubUc sentiment, (d) One's fund of knowledge is 
drawn in as great amount, perhaps, from general sources 
as from specific and organized sources. That is, one 
picks up items of information from general talks, cursory 
reading, casual observation, and these unrelated facts 
form no small part of one's intellectual capital. They 
may be less valuable, less accurate, than the items of 
knowledge obtained by sytematized study; but they are 
important, nevertheless, and some provision for their 
gleaning should be made by the school. General exercises 
probably offer the best medium for this purpose. 

In arranging the daily program, then, time should be 
allowed for general exercises of some description, and it is 
perhaps best to place them at the beginning of the morn- 
ing session. From five to fifteen minutes may be profit- 
ably utiHzed in this way ; probably the average in the bet- 
ter schools is ten minutes. Here, if anywhere, it is quality 
rather than quantity that counts. 

II. The Number of Pupils and the Number of 
Classes. These two factors are by far the most trouble- 
some to the classroom teacher in making out a program. 
The problem is far from simple in the graded school 
where a single teacher has but one grade divided into 
two classes, one half year apart in age and classification. 
Where two grades with three or four different classes are 
given to one teacher, the problem is much more compli-. 
cated, but the greatest comphcation is met with in the un- 
graded schools where one teacher must teach all classes in 


all subjects. In the discussion of the problems involved in 
adjusting the program to these conditions, it will be well 
to begin with the simple conditions of the graded school.^ 

The Graded School Classroom Program. Assuming the room 
to contain but one grade divided into two groups, the mem- 
bers of each of which are approximately equal in capacity and 
attainments (and this assumption must be made in practice), the 
first point is to determine the number of minutes in the school 
day. This is done by subtracting from the total time the num- 
ber of minutes given to recesses, intermissions, and general exer- 
cises. The required subjects are then enumerated, and the 
available time divided by the number representing the total of 
required subjects, in order to see what time can be devoted to 
each, assuming that all are equal in value. This average time 
should then be divided by two, in order to determine the length 
of each study and recitation period. The average length must 
then be compared with the accepted standard length of the pe- 
riod for the grade in question. These standard lengths of peri- 
ods as given in the table commonly credited to Chadwick and 
generally adopted in the United States are as follows : 5-7 years, 
15 minutes; 7-10 years, 20 minutes; 10-12 years, 25 minutes; 
12-16 years, 30 minutes. 

In most grades the quotient of the available time divided 
by the number of subjects required, and this divided by two 
in order to equalize study and recitation periods, will be much 
smaller than the number represented by the above table for 
the grade in question. It therefore becomes necessary to make 
an adjustment (i) by determining the subjects that will, from 
their nature, require no study period, and (2) if the grade 
standard is not thus secured, by providing that certain subjects 

^ If one teacher has charge of but one class, the problem is, of course, 
extremely simple. But this condition is seldom met with in American 


shall be taught only on alternate days. Even then it may 
become necessary to cut down the time recommended as the 
standard length of period for the grade in question. 

To take a concrete instance : suppose the grade to be the fifth, 
the sessions to last from 9 to 12 and from 1:15 to 4, with a re- 
cess of 15 minutes for each session, and the required subjects 
to be the following: reading, arithmetic, geography, language 
or grammar, history, physiology, writing, spelling, nature study, 
music, drawing, physical training, and ''morals and manners." 
For the "teaching" of these thirteen subjects, 305 minutes will 
be available, after deducting 30 minutes for recesses and 
10 minutes for general exercises. If all subjects are to be 
given an equal allotment of time each day, it is clear that each 
will receive approximately 24.2 minutes. This would give 
1 2. 1 minutes to each study and recitation period, or about one 
half the standard period's length — and, moreover, a period 
far too brief for effective work. It may be assumed, however, 
that the following subjects will require no study period : music, 
drawing, physical training, nature study, and morals and man- 
ners. But even if these are to be given the standard period 
(25 minutes for this grade) each day, there will not remain 
enough time to supply the other subjects adequately. Either 
alternation of subjects or reduction of the standard length of 
period is absolutely necessary. 

It is perhaps best to try alternation first. It is evident that 
nature study and drawing can be conveniently alternated. 
Morals and manners, while constantly emphasized, need receive 
explicit attention only once a week, but physical training must 
come every day, although it need not occupy the full period. 
The following arrangement seems therefore to be justified : draw- 
ing or nature study, alternating, 20 minutes daily ; physical cul- 
ture, 10 minutes daily ; music, 20 minutes daily, except for one 
day, when morals and manners may occupy the music period. 

The subjects named can be taught to both classes simul- 


taneously. There are two other subjects that are amenable to 
similar treatment, — spelling and penmanship. For the former, 
at least 20 minutes daily should be apportioned, 10 minutes 
for study and 10 minutes for recitation. For written recitation, 
words can be dictated, first to one class, then to the other. 
Oral spelling can be provided for by assigning the same les- 
son to both classes. This is especially valuable for frequent 
reviews on words commonly misspelled. Writing should have 
at least 1 5 minutes daily, and may be given to both classes 
at the same time. The total daily apportionment thus pro- 
vided will amount in all to 85 minutes. Substracting this from 
the 305 minutes available for all work, 220 minutes will be left 
for apportionment to the subjects requiring study periods, 
assuming that grammar (or language), history, and physiology 
are all text-book subjects as they usually are in the fifth grade. 
The 220 minutes divided among the six subjects will give less 
than 40 minutes for each, or less than 20 minutes for a study 
or recitation period. Again, either alternation or shortening 
the standard is required. The only subjects among the six 
that will permit alternation are history and physiology. Sup- 
pose these to be alternated; the total is now constructively 
diminished by one. But five subjects will still not permit 
full 25 minutes for study or recitation. The last resort 
is a partial shortening of the standard, which is inevitable 
wherever the contingency arises and where home study is not 
permitted.^ This partial shortening can be accomplished by 
allowing some subjects 25 minutes for study and 20 minutes 
for recitation. In other words, if a certain period is 25 minutes 
in duration, the next can be made 20 minutes, the next 25 
minutes, and so on. While one class recites, the other studies, 
so that approximately 45 minutes may be devoted by each 
class to each of the text-book subjects. In both classes, how- 

* In the writer's opinion, home study should be permitted not earlier 
than Grade V, and preferably not prior to Grade VII. 



ever, one subject will be limited to 40 minutes. Care should 
be taken that this will not be a subject of great importance for 
this grade. The following program is based upon this arrange- 
ment. It is inserted merely as suggestive of a possible outcome 
of the situation that we have imagined. ''R" indicates recit- 
ing class; '' S " indicates study class.^ "A" is the latter half of 
the fifth grade ; '' B " the first half. 



"A" Class 

"B" Class 

9: 00- 9: 10 


Opening Exercises 

Opening exercises 

9: 10- 9: 20 


S. spelling 

S. spelling 

9 : 20- 9 : 30 


R. spelling 

R. spelling 

9 =3^^ 9:55 


R. reading 

S. arithmetic 



S. arithmetic 

R. arithmetic 

10: 15-10: 30 








10: 45-11 : 10 


R. arithmetic 

S. reading 

11: lo-ii : 30 


S. geography 

R. reading 



R. geography 

S. geography 

II : 50-12: 00 


Physical culture 

Physical culture 

1:15- 1:40 


S. grammar 

R. geography 

1 : 40- 2 : 00 


R. grammar 

S. grammar 

2 : 00- 2 : 20 


S. history or physiology 

R. grammar 

2 : 20- 2 : 30 




2 : 30- 2 : 45 




2 : 45- 3 : 10 


R. history or physiology 

S. history or physiology 



S. reading 

R. history or physiology 

3:3^ 3:50 


Drawing or nature study 

Drawing or nature study 

3:50- 4:00 


Music, 4 days, morals and manners, i day 

The above program has some apparent weaknesses. Spell- 
ing, for example, is given the first period in the morning, while 
in most schools it is placed at some less important period. The 

^ "The best programs show what is being done at the seats as well as 
what is being done in recitation." — Akron, Ohio, Course of Siudy, 1904, 
p. 174. 


disposition, however, to place drill subjects at unfavorable 
periods is probably to be condemned, and to give the first 
school period to spelling is, especially in the intermediate grades, 
a commendable, although not a common, practice. Penman- 
ship is given the period just prior to the morning recess. This 
is open to criticism in that it makes a writing exercise follow 
arithmetic; it is justified only on the ground that the 15 
minutes just prior to recess is too brief for any other subject 
that is entitled to a favorable morning period, and also by the 
fact that writing should not come immediately after any recess 
or intermission because of the difficulty of making fine adjust- 
ments after vigorous exercise ; thus by a method of elimination 
the period assigned seems to be the only period available. 
The 10 minutes just preceding the noon intermission are not, 
perhaps, the best time for physical exercises ; but in view of the 
fact that these are very fatiguing whenever effectively carried 
on, it is difficult to find a period when they will not have a 
deleterious influence upon other work. The division of the 
music into two periods could also be objected to. The last 10 
minutes of the day, however, are frequently devoted to sing- 
ing, and the arrangement indicated may be interpreted as 
meaning that this is to be the policy here. The other music 
period just preceding the afternoon recess may profitably be 
devoted to instructional and drill work in music. All of the 
text-book subjects are allotted 45 minutes, except geography 
of the ''A" class and grammar of the ''B " class. It would be 
better, of course, if the "cut" could come altogether from the 
content subjects, but this is impracticable because the content 
subjects aside from geography — physiology and history — 
have already been reduced in time-allowance by alternation. 

The Three- class Program. If three classes are in charge of 
one teacher, there is no alternative but to shorten the periods 
for recitation and increase the time devoted to seat work, unless, 
as is frequently the case, different classes may pursue some 



assignments in common. Supposing this not to be the case, 
however, it is clear that two thirds of the time allotted to each 
text-book subject must be devoted to seat work, and one third 
to recitation. For an example of this type of program, let us 
assume that the teacher has the following classes : IV " A," V 
" B," and V " A." In all probability the course of study will 
show practically the same subjects, except that two reading les- 
sons will be prescribed for the fourth grade to replace physiology 
and history. Practically the same disposition can, therefore, 
be made of the music, drawing, nature study, morals and 
manners, and (perhaps) spelling and penmanship. Thus 
approximately 220 minutes will be available for distribution 
among the five text-book subjects. By taking 5 minutes 
from one of the other branches, — perhaps music will be best 
able to stand the sacrifice, — this total will be increased to 225 
minutes. The advantage of doing this is obvious : each of the 
five text-book subjects can be allotted 45 minutes, and this 
time can be divided into a study period of 30 minutes and a 
recitation period of 15 minutes. Needless to say, the study 
periods are too long and the recitation periods too short; but 
this will always be the case where more than two classes are 
placed in charge of a single teacher. The following program 
indicates the advantage of the division into 45-minute units : — 



V "A" Class 

V"B" Class 

IV " A " Class 

9:00- 9: 10 


Opening exercises 

Opening exercises 

Opening exercises 

9 : 10- 9 : 30 





9:30- 9:4s 


S. arithmetic 

S. arithmetic 

R. reading 

9: 45-10:00 


S. arithmetic 

R. arithmetic 

S. arithmetic 

10:00-10: IS 


R. arithmetic 

S. reading 

S. arithmetic 

10: 15-10: 30 












S. reading 

S. reading 

R. arithmetic 

11:00-11: 15 


S. reading 

R. reading 

S. geography 

11: 15-11: 30 


R. reading 

S. geography 

S. geography 



S. geography 

S. geography 

R. geography 

11: 45-12:00 


S. geography 

R. geography 

S. reading 





V "A" Class V"B" Class 

IV "A" Class 

I : IS- 1 : 30 

R. geography S. grammar 

S. reading 

1:30- 1:45 

S. grammar S. grammar 

R. reading 

1:45- 2:00 

S. grammar R. grammar 

S. language 

2:00- 2: IS 

R. grammar S. physiology, history S. language 

2:1s- 2:30 

Divided between physical culture and music 

2:3a- 2:4s 

Recess Recess 


2:4s- 3:00 

S. physiology, history S. physiology 

R. language 

3:00- 3:1s 

S. ph5rsiology R. physiology 

S. reading 

3: IS- 3:30 

R. physiology S. arithmetic 

S. reading 

3:30- 3:50 


Drawing or nat. st. Drawing or nat. st. 

Drawing or nat. st. 

3:so- 4:00 


Music, 4 days a week, morals and 

manners, i day 

Upper Grade Programs. On account of the numerous lines 
of work demanded by modern courses of study for the upper 
grades, it is imperative that one or two assignments be prepared 
at home. A brief reference to either of the above programs 
will show how much the problem of program-making would be 
simplified if at least one subject could be assumed in each class 
to be provided for by home study. Above the sixth grade, 
however, where effective periods must be at least 25 minutes 
in length, it would be impossible to arrange a satisfactory 
program without this provision. 

The program (page 67) suggests a possible distribution of the 
eighth-grade work. The ''A" class prepares arithmetic and 
spelling at home, the ''B" class, history and spelling. The 
text-book periods are, with three exceptions, 30 minutes in 
duration. (The abbreviation "H.P." indicates home prepara- 

It will doubtless be practicable in most instances to have 
the two classes study the same literary masterpieces; this 
would enable both classes to *' recite" literature at the same 
period. No time is allotted for physical exercises, and if these 
are prescribed, it will be necessary to cut two more periods to 
25 minutes. 

The Ungraded School Program, An inspection of the three- 





"A" Class 

"B" Class 

9 : 00- 9 : 10 




9: 10- 9: 20 


Spelling (H.P.) 

Spelling (H.P.) 

9:20- 9:50 


R. arithmetic (H.P.) 

S. arithmetic 

9: 50-10: 20 


S. grammar 

R. arithmetic 

10: 20-10: 30 








10: 45-11: 15 


R. grammar 

S. grammar 

II : 15-11 : 40 


S. physiology or civics 

R. grammar 

11: 40-12: 00 


Drawing or nature study or agriculture 

1:15- I •• 45 


S. history 

R. history (H.P.) 

1:45- 2:15 


R. history 

S. physiology or civics 





2 : 30- 2 : 45 




2 : 45- 3 : 10 


R. physiology or civics ^ 

S. literature * 

3^10- 3535 


S. literature ^ 

R. physiology or civics * 

3:35- 4:00 


R. literature ^ 

R. literature ^ 

class program (page 66) will indicate the difficulties that are 
to be overcome when the number of classes is increased beyond 
two. The recitation periods must be greatly abbreviated, the 
study periods proportionately lengthened, and the classes com- 
bined wherever the effective teaching of the subject will in any 
measure permit combination. 

The most practical arrangement for an ungraded school is 
probably that proposed by the late Dr. Emerson E. White.' 
According to this plan, the time of the teacher is equitably dis- 
tributed among three classes of pupils, representing approxi- 
mately the primary, intermediate, and grammar grades. The 
recitation periods are 20, 25, and 30 minutes in length, the 
longer periods being assigned to the older pupils. Provision 
is made for frequent changes of work during the long study 

* Manual training may be provided for by alternation in these periods. 
^ E. E. White : School Management, pp. 86-94. 



periods, especially for the younger pupils. Modifications of 
this general plan have been incorporated into several state 
manuals. The following four-class arrangement is a suggestive 


(Exercises italicized are for the reciting class.) 


1st Year 

3d Year 

6th Year 

8th Year 

9:00- 9: 10 

Opening ex. 

Opening ex. 

Opening ex. 

Opening ex. 

9:10- 9:30 





9:30- 9:50 





9: 50-10: 10 





10: 10-10: 25 



























Reading, Spelling Arithmetic 






x:oo- 1:05 

Singing or 

other exercises 

1 : 05- 1 : 20 


Reading, Spelling Geography 


1 : 20- 1 : 30 


Reading, Spelling Geography 


1:30- 1:45 

Drawing « 

Drawing ^ 

Drawing * 

Drawing * 

1:4s- 2:00 

Physiology ^ 

Physiology ^ 



3 : 00- 2 : 20 



Phys., English 


2:20- 2:35 




2:35- 2:45 





2:45- a: 55 

General lessons 

2:55- 3:00 



Phys., English 

Civil government 

3:00- 3:1s 



Phys., English * 

Phys., civ. gov. » 

3:1s- 3:30 




Civil government 

3:30- 3:45 



Civil government 

3:4s- 4:00 


Special work 

* ^gth Annual Report ^ Department of Public Instruction, New York, 
1903, Appendix 4. 

^ Drawing: two or three classes; two recitations a week. 
^ Physiology : two classes ; two or three recitations a week. 

* English : two classes ; three recitations a week ; more if possible. 

* Civil government may be alternated with some other study. 


12. The program-maker in the elementary school can- 
not fail to be impressed with a very grave danger that is 
inherent in the present tendency to enrich the curriculum 
by the addition of a host of new subjects. How difficult 
it is to find time for the adequate presentation of accepted 
subject-matter is quite evident from the above discussion. 
The length of the periods for the various grades is the 
result of long years of schoolroom practice and seems to 
indicate both a maximal and minimal time for effective 
and economical work. To shorten periods below this 
limit is to risk a serious waste both of time and energy. 
Moreover, the addition of each new subject must, if car- 
ried beyond a certain point, detract from the effectiveness 
of instruction in other subjects. There is a law of mental 
activity somewhat analogous to the law of diminishing 
returns in agriculture. Variety up to a certain point is 
essential to effective mental work; variety beyond that 
point promotes dispersed attention and inadequate ap- 
perception. In the struggle to "teach" everything that 
is now demanded, the school is forced to give almost every 
subject a superficial treatment. This is \^rong both from 
the standpoint of school economy and from the standpoint 
of mental development.^ 

13. Holding to the Program. Practically all principals 

* A recent writer in the School Journal proposes a possible reform in 
this direction by advocating that all the subjects of major importance — 
in brief the "three R's" — be given the bulk of the time in the ele- 
mentary school, and that the "accessory" subjects be taught by lectures, 
readings, and exercises involving a minimal expenditure of energy on the 
part of the child. 


and superintendents of schools agree that the beginning 
teacher should hold rigidly to the program and time- 
table. This is, at first, a rather difficult matter. There are 
innumerable temptations to hold a class a moment with 
one subject until a certain point has been made or a cer- 
tain conclusion driven home. It is, of course, debatable 
whether this is not justified, but it is the writer's experi- 
ence that the results are much better if the time-table is 
adhered to rigidly. There would seem to be a sound 
reason back of this conclusion. In the first place, it is 
comparatively simple to establish the habit of adjusting 
one's work in preparation to fit the period for which it is 
intended ; thus the teacher, after a little experience, is able 
to bring each lesson to a satisfactory finish within the period 
allowed. In the second place, if the teacher begins to 
extend or abbreviate the periods, it soon becomes impos- 
sible to designate the point at which work is to be varied. 
*' Going over" the allotted time becomes a habit that 
entails much waste and no little injustice. In the third 
place, almost every teacher is apt to prefer some subjects 
to others, and, unless a strenuous effort is made to be 
impartial, it will be practically impossible to escape length- 
ening the favorite periods. 

References. — White: School Management, pp. 86-94; Roark: 
Economy in Education, pp. 64-72; Seeley: A New School Manage- 
ment, ch. v; Baldwin: Art of School Management, pt. iv, ch. v; 
M. V. O'Shea: Dynamic Factors in Education, New York, 1906, 
ch. xviii. 


Regularity and Punctuality of Attendance 

1. Irregularity of attendance is a serious source of 
waste in all grades of the school ; but for obvious reasons it 
is most troublesome in the lower grades where the stimulus 
of the teacher and of class instruction is so essential to 
progress. DeHnquent pupils not only miss the work that 
has been done during their absence, but they necessarily 
retard the progress of the class when they return. In other 
words, the habitual delinquent is a dead weight that the 
remainder of the class is forced to carry. 

2. Regular Attendance should become a Habit. The 
aim in all measures looking toward the improvement of 
attendance is to make regularity and punctuality of 
attendance a habit with every pupil. It is not until this 
point has been reached that maximal economy of school 
administration from this point of view can be attained. 
Here as elsewhere, so long as the struggle between impulse 
and idea is a conscious struggle, waste must ensue. The 
following discussion, therefore, must consider the appHca- 
tion of the law of habit-building to this problem. How 
can this important habit be initiated, and how may repe- 
tition be sustained until automatism results ? 

It will be recognized at the outset that there must be 
a certain irreducible minimum of absence and perhaps 



also of tardiness in every school. Moreover, this irre- 
ducible minimum will vary with different grades, different 
localities, and different seasons of the year. Consequently 
an absolute standard cannot be adopted : one cannot lay 
down a hard-and-fast rule that ninety-four or ninety-seven 
per cent of the pupils enrolled should be present at school 
every session. The standard can, however, be established 
within certain limits. Probably all authorities would 
agree that a school showing an average attendance lower 
than ninety per cent of its enrollment would be greatly 
handicapped in doing effective work, and furthermore 
that such a condition should be remedied, and could be 
remedied if the proper methods were employed. All 
authorities would also probably agree that a school show- 
ing an average daily attendance of ninety-eight per cent 
of its pupils could do very effective work (other things 
equal), and furthermore that attempts to secure a higher 
per centum would involve a danger that must never be over- 
looked — namely, that some pupils would be forced to at- 
tend school when such attendance would be inimical to 
their health.^ 

3. What constitutes a Necessary Delinquency ? Whether 
distinctly provided by statute or not, it should be definitely 
understood in every public school that the only acceptable 

^ In computing the per centum of attendance, the number enrolled 
should not, of course, include those who have been registered and then 
transferred to other schools. It is, however, unjust to consider the num- 
ber "belonging" in place of the number enrolled, if, by the number 
belonging, one means all who have not been absent more than three or 
five consecutive days, as is done in most schools. 


excuse for absence or tardiness is either the presence of 
some condition that would make attendance inimical to 
the pupil's health, or the existence in the pupil's home of a 
very serious misfortune. Absence from school or tardiness 
in coming to school caused by employing the pupil in 
services either at home or elsewhere should not be con- 
sidered as legitimate. If the child's services are required 
either directly or indirectly to provide the necessities of 
life, the case is one demanding attention from the poor 
commissioners. If lack of proper clothing prevents 
regular attendance, the community should provide such 
clothing. All this is not charity; it is public economy. 
In view of the disturbing influence of absence and tardi- 
ness upon the work of the school as a whole, and in view 
of the heavy cost of maintaining a pubHc school system, 
no other position is tenable. This does not mean that the 
school is to be the "juggernaut" so vividly described by 
opponents of compulsory education ; it simply means that 
school work is to be recognized as a serious business, and 
that the time, energy, and wealth expended upon the school 
system are to make an adequate return ; it simply means 
that the rights of the majority are not to be invaded and 
invaUdated by the whims or the incompetency of the 

4. The habit of regular and punctual attendance must 
be initiated by estabhshing this principle. How can this 
be done ? 

(a) Enforcing Attendance Statutes and Rulings. Fortu- 
nately most of the states (except in the South) have forti- 


fied education with laws that compel the attendance of 
all children of school age during the time that school is in 
session, unless they are excused for one of the two reasons 
mentioned above. Some of these laws, it is true, have been 
made practically ineffective through sharp manipulation, 
but the majority can be enforced. And yet, even where 
the legal conditions are ideal, the per centum of attendance 
is often deplorably low. The chief difficulty lies in the 
fear of the teacher to give offense to parents. Perhaps he 
is strenuous enough with pupils whose parents are not 
influential, but his laxity in other cases much more than 
counterbalances his partial rigorism. This attitude is not 
only unfortunate from the standpoint of school efficiency 
and economy; it is unprofessional, uncraftsmanUke, and 
inconsistent with the accepted standards of public service. 
How should unnecessary dehnquencies be treated in 
communities where a compulsory education law operates ? 
Simply and solely as offenses against discipHne and order 
in the school and against the pubHc welfare in society 
at large. Persisted in, they should be looked upon as 
direct affronts to the authority of the school, and, in case 
the deUnquency is due to the pupil and not the parent, 
the action should be construed as insubordination and 
treated accordingly. Written excuses should be demanded 
in all instances, and no written excuse should be accepted 
unless it is at least formally consistent with the provisions 
of the law. 

To act professionally in matters of this sort does not mean 
that one should act tactlessly and blunderingly ; it does mean, 


however, that one should act firmly. A courteous note to the 
parent, informing him of the statutory requirement, and 
briefly explaining its justice, will often be effective. If it is 
not, a personal interview may remedy matters. If this measure 
fails, there are still left an appeal to the law and action through the 
regularly constituted legal channels. If local authorities refuse 
through pressure from interested parties to enforce the law, it 
is the plain duty of the teacher to lay the facts of the case before 
the state superintendent of public instruction. Though so 
drastic a policy should cost the teacher his position, the fact 
should not lessen his determination to be just. 

5. (b) Encouraging Regular Attendance by Prizes y Privi- 
leges, etc. The "excuse" system, even under a rigid ap- 
plication of a compulsory attendance law, will render it 
impossible to eliminate all unnecessary delinquencies. 
As long as the parent's word is accepted without investi- 
gation (and American ideals of individual liberty properly 
preclude officious prying into one's private affairs), a cer- 
tain amount of injustice will be involved in accepting writ- 
ten excuses. Compulsory education statutes can mitigate 
but they cannot entirely eradicate the evils of irregular 
attendance. Other methods of initiating the habits of 
regularity and punctuality must be employed, even under 
the most favorable conditions. 

Material prizes for all who reach a certain standard in 
attendance are justifiable under exceptional conditions. 
They often fail, however, to reach the cases that are most 
troublesome. Immaterial prizes (certificates of perfect 
attendance, ** honor" seats, names published in the local 
paper if attendance is perfect, etc.) are more to be preferred, 


and are sometimes extremely effective. Exemptions from 
school duties (half holidays for those perfect in attendance 
for the month is a typical example) may be employed as a 
last resort, and especially in communities where there is 
no compulsory attendance law.^ Where such a law exists, 
it is possible that such a practice would be declared 
illegal by the courts. It may be objected that these 
measures propose to give some sort of prize for attendance 
even when the law states that attendance is a duty and 
delinquency a misdemeanor. Nevertheless the difficulty 
of probing into every case of absence renders the law par- 
tially inoperative, and remedial measures are in such cases 

6. (c) Competitions in Attendance and Punctuality. In 
a large graded school, or in a city or county system of 
schools, it is often possible to create an effective esprit de 
corps with respect to absence and tardiness by instituting 
a competition for school honors in freedom from dehnquen- 
cies. Some principals have reports of attendance sent to 
the office daily or weekly, and then compile a list of rooms 
in the order of excellence in attendance. A reward in the 
shape of a banner for the room showing the best attendance 
during the term may add zest to the competition, although 

* The case is somewhat peculiar in the high school where compulsory 
laws do not commonly apply. Cf. the following: "The most valuable 
expedient for good attendance that I have found ... is the exemption 
of those pupils perfect in attendance and punctuality for a specified period 
from the formal examinations covering that period." — H. M. Hart: 
"How to Get and Keep Pupils in the High School," in Inter-Mountain 
Educator, 1906, vol. i, p. 170. 


good results can be obtained without employing this 

All attempts to secure good attendance (and especially the 
competitive device just mentioned) must be rigorously subjected 
to the qualifications that have been so frequently referred to 
in the foregoing discussions. There can be such a thing as 
attendance that is too nearly perfect. A shortsighted principal 
or teacher, in his enthusiasm for results in this regard, is apt to 
create a nervous tension among his pupils that will prevent even 
legitimate absence. This condition should not, of course, be 
permitted to exist. The difficulty Hes in effecting a compromise 
between leniency and stringency. It is easy to overstep the 
limit on either side, and the teacher must be constantly on his 
guard against this tendency. There are no explicit directions 
that will avail in this matter. One must depend entirely upon 
one's judgment and good sense. But the danger must be coil- 
stantly borne in mind. 

7. Tardiness. The foregoing discussion has been de- 
voted chiefly to the consideration of absence. The gen- 
eral principles brought out apply, however, to tardiness. 
Tardiness is, in some respects, a greater evil than absence, 
but it should never be made to appear so in the child's eyes, 
else he will be apt to remain out of school during the 
entire session if he chances to arrive a few minutes late. 
The habit of tardiness is worse than occasional absence 
because it is apt to be carried over into later life and to 
cause the individual no end of trouble in its eradication. 
The child should very early form the habit of meeting every 
engagement promptly, and there is no way to form this 
habit save by making tardiness a serious offense. 


Aside from those delinquencies in punctuality that are 
due to conditions in the child's home, and which should be 
treated as similar deUnquencies in attendance are treated, 
the greatest trouble arises from the "naturally" dilatory 
child. In young children this is often due to an inade- 
quate "time sense" (more properly "time judgment"). 
This is usually a result of arrested development. The 
judgment of time intervals is not a native gift, but an ac- 
quisition, and the only way for the young child to acquire 
it is through the pleasure-pain economy. For the habitu- 
ally tardy pupil there is probably no remedy so efifective in 
stimulating time judgment as a judicious use of corporal 
punishment, provided, of course, that the tardiness is 
due entirely to the pupil's carelessness. 

8. Habits of punctuaUty may be fortified and generalized 
by concrete instruction on their practical value in the 
social and business world. The time allotted to instruc- 
tion in "morals and manners" or "ethics" (which is so 
commonly given to something else) might profitably be 
used in part for this purpose. This is a field in which a 
little "preaching" may perhaps be more than commonly 
effective, for the alert, competent, "husthng" business 
man is the popular hero of the day, and punctuality is one 
of his chief virtues. Anecdotes drawn from business Hfe, 
backed up by rigorous insistence on punctuahty in school 
life, will do much toward building up an active and effec- 
tive ideal of punctuality among the pupils. 

Interesting opening exercises, as stated in a former section, 
will help to curtail tardiness. 


In some schools there are two bells at the beginning of every 
session, — a signal for forming lines and passing to the class- 
rooms, and a ** tardy'* bell. Where this plan is followed, 
technical tardiness (arrival after the tardy signal) can be almost 
entirely eliminated by treating rather seriously those pupils 
who fail to pass to their rooms with the lines. In general, the 
question of tardiness is least troublesome where there is a large 
school bell which rings five or ten minutes before the session is 

9. Should Delinquencies in Attendance and Punctual- 
ity detract from Pupils^ Standing in Scholarship ? This 
is a question that admits of argument. It cannot be 
doubted that absence from class exercises theoretically 
prevents a pupil from reaching the standard gained by 
his fellows who have been regular in attendance. Indeed, 
if an habitual absentee is just as well prepared for the 
work of the following grade as is a pupil who has been 
regular in attendance, the fact is an unfortunate commen- 
tary upon the character of the instruction and training 
afforded by the class work. Nevertheless it is true that 
the delinquent pupil may sometimes be just as capable of 
fulfilling the conditions of the higher grade as is the pupil 
who has been perfect in attendance. On the other hand, 
to count absence arbitrarily against scholarship standing 
is often extremely effective in impelling all pupils to regu- 
lar attendance, and the temptation is strong to employ the 
incentive to its limit. While such a measure is justifiable 
in very obstinate cases, it could hardly be recommended 
for general practice. To retain a pupil for a second term 
in the same grade except for deficient scholarship is a very 


severe penalty. It means practically the loss of a year or 
half-year of the child's life, and tends to discourage him 
from further effort. 

References. — Seeley : A New School Management ^ pp. 107-110; 
Kellogg: School Management^ ch. vi; Tompkins: Philosophy oj 
School Management f pp. 70-71. 

Preserving Hygienic Conditions in the Classroom 

1. A SCHOOL environment that is free from factors 
making for ill health is manifestly of prime importance in 
securing maximal efficiency in the operation of educative 
forces. Specialized investigation, undertaken especially 
in Germany, has made school hygiene one of the most 
complete and trustworthy departments of applied science, 
and every teacher should master the fundamental prin- 
ciples of school hygiene at least to the extent in which they 
are set forth in such text-books as those of Kotelmann * 
or Shaw.^ The present chapter will indicate only those 
practical rules that the classroom teacher should have 
constantly in mind, laying particular emphasis upon the 
hygienic habits which it is the duty of every teacher to 
develop in his pupils. 

2. Hygienic Habits of Posture. One of the very first 
tasks that a new teacher should set for himself is the 
initiation of proper habits of sitting. So much of the 
pupil's time is spent at his desk and during a period of 
development when bad postures easily become fixed into 
permanent malformations, that this matter is of the very 
greatest importance. 

* L. Kotelmann : School Hygiene, English trans., Syracuse, 1899. 
'E. R, Shaw: School Hygiene, New York, 1901. 
o 81 


Whatever the form of seat found in the classroom, it 
should fulfill three conditions : (a) it must permit an upright 
position of the body ; (b) it must provide a support for the 
back ; (c) it must permit the pupil's feet to rest squarely upon 
the floor. Adjustable seats should certainly be provided 
for growing children, but this matter is not often within the 
classroom teacher's control. Generally he must make the 
best of existing conditions. Practically all schoolroom seats 
fulfill the first two conditions, but the third is often a source 
of difficulty. If pupils are " hung up " (the technical term 
for the position in which their feet do not rest squarely upon 
the floor), the only recourse is to provide blocks of wood 
for them to rest their feet upon. This is not the best thing 
for the appearance of the classroom or for the temper of 
the janitor or sweepers, but it is absolutely essential to 
the welfare of the child. 

3. Even in classrooms that are provided with adjustable 
seats, however, one frequently finds most unhygienic 
postures. The most common defect is the reclining po- 
sition, where the pupil "sHdes down" in his seat until the 
body is entirely supported by the lower end of the spinal 
column (which rests on the front edge of the seat) and the 
back of the neck (which rests against the top of the seat 
back). The legs are stretched under the desk and the 
head is thrust forward. The evils of this position are 
obvious at a glance. The spinal column is curved out- 
ward, the shoulders are thrust forward, the chest is de- 
pressed, and proper breathing is prevented. In addition 
to these disastrous consequences, the appearance is in- 


dicative of an inert, shiftless relaxation that is quite incon- 
sistent with effective concentration of attention. Another 
common malposition is the forward inclination of the 
body, compressing the chest against the front edge of the 

The only safeguard against unhygienic posture is a 
careful demonstration of the correct position and a strenu- 
ous insistence upon this position until the pupils assume 
it at all times as a matter of habit. This does not mean 
that the pupil is to be permitted no freedom of movement, 
or that he is to be kept constantly in a rigid posture. 
Indeed, if the requirement is new to the pupils (as will fre- 
quently be the case), it will be wise to introduce frequent 
relaxation or "rest" periods during the first few days. 
It will take time to accustom the muscles to a fairly con- 
stant adjustment, but it can be done successfully if per- 
sisted in, just as the army recruit can be trained into 
soldierly form. In any case, variety should be secured 
by a change from one hygienic posture to another hy- 
gienic posture — not by a change from a bad posture to 
one that is worse. 

4. The Writing Posture. This is an extremely impor- 
tant matter. If pupils sit "sidewise" at the desk while 
they are writing, one shoulder is almost always slightly 
higher than the other. A long continuance of such a pos- 
ture will inevitably cause lateral curvature of the spine. 
It is for this reason that a system of penmanship is de- 
manded that will render impossible the sidewise position, 
and among other virtues this has been one of the chief 


characteristics to recommend vertical writing. If vertical 
writing is prescribed for the schools, every classroom 
teacher should see to it that the proper position is taken : 
feet flat on the floor, head well elevated, paper directly in 
front of the pupil, its front edge on a line parallel to a line 
connecting the pupiVs eyes. Not to make this position a 
matter of unvarying habit is to repudiate the chief virtue 
of the system. 

The reaction against the vertical writing has led to a 
compromise termed the "rational" or "medium" slant. 
The position for this writing is stated by some authorities 
to be the same as that for the vertical system. Other 
authorities, however, would permit a sHght angle in the 
placing of the paper. The great defect in this recom- 
mendation is that no specific angle is recommended, 
consequently the child follows the Hne of least re- 
sistance, which is to assume the sidewise posture. In 
such cases the teacher should determine the angle that 
will permit the greatest ease in writing and at the 
same time will not allow the pupil to shift the body 
from a position directly in front of the desk. It would 
be a good plan to have a line painted diagonally across 
each desk indicating this angle, and to insist that the 
pupil keep the upper edge of his paper parallel to this 

5. Posture in Standing. The erect posture should, of 
course, be made a matter of habit with all children during 
the formative period of growth. Careful insistence, forti- 
fied by "setting up" exercises such as are usually included 


in every course of physical training prescribed for the 
schools, will reduce to a minimum the troubles that ensue 
from inadequate standing positions. The crying need 
here, as elsewhere in the elementary schools, is for teachers 
who have the strength, the patience, and the stamina nec- 
essary to carry habit-forming processes to a successful 

6. Hygiene of Eyesight. This subject should be worked 
up by each teacher from some authoritative text-book ^ on 
school hygiene or, better, from a special work on the 
hygiene of eyesight.^ In the present connection the 
following points may be noted: (a) Books and papers 
containing reading matter in type of the average size 
should be held at a distance of about twelve inches from 
the eyes. If pupils find difiiculty in reading type at this 
distance, they should be encouraged to consult an ocuUst. 

(b) The Ught should come exclusively from the left while 
the pupils are engaged in reading or writing at their desks. 

(c) ''Hard" lead pencils should not be used for writing, 
because of the lack of contrast between the dull mark of 
the graphite and the background of the paper. Slates are 
unhygienic for the same reason. Slate blackboards are 
to be condemned unless a soft, white crayon is used. 

(d) Ink — dead black — should be used from the earUest 
possible moment. Many authorities introduce the use of 
ink in the second grade and discourage the use of pencils 

^ For example, Kotelmann or Shaw. 

'For example, S. Snell: Eyesight and School Life, Bristol, 1895; 
J. H. Smith: Defects of Vision and Hearing, Chicago, 1902. 


after that time.^ {e) Glazed paper, blue white paper, and 
dead white paper are all inferior for hygienic reasons to 
yellow white, unglazed paper. 

7. Fatigue y Relaxation, and Exercise. The subject of 
fatigue has already been referred to briefly in connection 
with the structure of the program. Happily the problem 
of fatigue in the sense of overwork is not a pressing problem 
just now in American education. Nevertheless it is wise 
constantly to bear in mind the factor of fatigue in reducing 
the efficiency of effort. Where sessions are upward of 
two and one half hours in duration, they should be broken 
by at least one recess of ten or fifteen minutes, given over 
to "free play^' in the open air. The writer has known 
advocates of "no recesses" openly to defend their policy 
on the plea that it is difficult to control children in free 
play — especially to control the larger children in the 
upper grades. Such an argument requires no comment. 
As stated in a former section, formal gymnastics are 
not recreative in the manner commonly supposed. The 
only true recreation comes from entire relaxation or from 
spontaneous play. The play should always be super- 
vised in large schools in order to prevent accidents. It 
is wise to provide by rule against certain dangerous games 
upon the school grounds. Some of these may, indeed, be 
good, healthful sports, but with three or four hundred 

^ In some schools first-grade pupils are permitted to write with ink 
as soon as their penmanship reaches a certain standard of excellence. 
This provides a stimulus for good writing, and at the same time pro- 
motes the interests of hygiene. 


children of all ages playing together, they introduce an 
element of danger that it is folly to ignore. 

Among the games that the writer has seen fit to prohibit in 
a large school are ''crack the whip," ''foot-and-a-half " (as 
distinguished from "Bombay"), baseball or other ball games 
using a hard ball, and Rugby football, except when limited 
to regular teams of the older pupils. Wrestling, boxing, and 
other rough sports should be permitted only when the pupils 
are properly clothed for the exercise, and when such activities 
do not degenerate into rough-and-tumble scrimmages. It is 
wise not to make a specific ruling covering all forbidden sports, 
but to curtail each as it crops out, stating the dangers involved, 
and ruling that the specific game or exercise shall not be in- 
dulged in during school hours. 

Snowballing is a nuisance if indulged in promiscuously. 
The writer has found it advisable to prohibit it (and to enforce 
the prohibition by rigid penalties) both upon the school grounds 
and in passing to and from school. He has, however, permitted 
snowball battles where the school premises were large enough, 
curtailing the permission whenever it was abused. 

Playing Marbles ^^jor Keeps.^' Marble playing for stakes, 
or any other form of gambling, should be rigidly prohibited. 
When the marble season first opens, this rule should be definitely 
established. By passing among the groups of boys at the recess 
period or at noon intermission, a principal or teacher can soon 
learn whether the rule is observed. This precaution should be 
taken, no matter how thoroughly the teacher may believe in 
the virtue of his pupils. Needless to say, lapses from a rule 
of this character should be treated as most serious offenses. 

Cigarette smoking, while hardly to be classed among games 
and sports, certainly deserves mention in connection with pro- 
hibited exercises. In view of the disastrous effects of nicotine 
upon young children, and especially because of its interference 


with school work, all pupils who are known to indulge the 
habit at any time should be instantly reformed. If the offense 
occurs while the pupil is under control of the school authorities, 
severe penalties can be imposed without consulting with parents. 
If the offense occurs at other times, the parent should be notified 
at once and every effort made to secure the cooperation of the 
home in checking the evil. An habitual cigarette smoker will 
find it impossible to hide the evidences of his vice from a 
teacher who has normal acuity of smell. It should be remem- 
bered that the disastrous effects of smoking are most marked 
during the preadolescent period — prior, perhaps, to the fifteenth 

8. Personal Cleanliness. The classroom teacher should 
insist rigorously upon personal cleanliness in his pupils. 
Almost every board of education rules explicitly that all 
pupils shall fulfill reasonable requirements in this respect, 
and where no ruling is explicitly made, it can certainly be 
assumed in the interests of common decency. Private 
admonitions to pupils are generally effective for this pur- 
pose. If something further is needed, a courteous request 
to the parent v^ill usually bring results. For very obsti- 
nate cases there is no recourse save to the school lavatory. 
Some city systems now provide shower baths in the schools 
of the poorer districts. 

The teacher can also do much to promote good habits 
of neatness and taste in matters of dress. The writer 
knows of one school where a tactful but aggressive cam- 
paign in this matter was rewarded by improvement 
throughout an entire community. Needless to say, the 
teacher's example is here an all-important factor, as is 


also the appearance of the schoolroom and the school 

9. Contagious Diseases. Almost every community pro- 
vides, through its health department, a set of regulations 
governing the duties of the teacher in deaUng with con- 
tagious diseases ; but occasional trouble is caused by the 
failure of the school authorities properly to cooperate with 
the health officials in this matter. Certainly the school, 
as representing enUghtenment, should be the last to evade 
quarantine restrictions, even though the attendance 
record may be sadly disfigured. All children who have 
eruptions on the face or hands should be excluded from 
school until a physician certifies that no danger of infection 
is involved in attendance. Symptoms of whooping-cough 
should be watched carefully, and suspicious cases should 
be sent home to await a physician's diagnosis. Parents' 
pleas should not be permitted to have weight in such 
matters, no matter how eloquently they may be presented. 
All children from quarantined houses should be excluded 
from the school unless they are removed to other quarters, 
in which case they should be permitted to attend only after 
the period of incubation for the disease in question has 

A great many teachers permit the almost universal rul- 
ings with respect to vaccination to become "dead letters" 
until an epidemic arouses them to their duty. It is not 
too much to say that every epidemic of smallpox could be 
prevented if the school authorities were constantly vigilant 
in requiring the vaccination of all pupils. 


With all the instruction upon the subject of physiology and 
hygiene in the elementary schools, there should certainly be 
some room for impressing the simple facts of pathology and the 
relation of microorganisms to disease. This is a matter of the 
first importance to public welfare. There are, indeed, many 
phases of the subject that only a trained mind can understand, 
but the simpler facts can be made clear to any child above the 
third grade. 

lo. Moral Health. Waste in the operation of school 
forces is often due as much to moral as to physical ill 
health. The mind that is absorbed in morbid interests 
is bound to profit in minimal degree by school instruction. 
What we term immoral tendencies are not infrequently 
"natural" tendencies; they have their root in instincts 
that are deeply seated and fundamental. The problem 
is to prevent an immature, ill-timed development of these 
instincts that will result only in perversion. Mental filth, 
like physical filth, grows upon itself: in the latter case, 
we term the germ that makes for degeneration a bacillus ; 
in the former case, we call the degenerating germ "sug- 
gestion." The suggestion arouses the instinct into a 
premature and perverted functioning, just as the physical 
germ stimulates the chemical compounds of animal or 
vegetable tissues into premature decomposition. 

The great danger in a large school is that these degenerat- 
ing influences will find lodgment in the minds of the chil- 
dren at a time when the budding instincts provide a fertile 
field for their growth and rapid propagation. It is for 
this reason that recess periods should be carefully super- 
vised, and that pupils should be encouraged to engage 


in physical sports rather than permitted to congregate in 
groups where the gossip gleaned upon the streets and 
amidst questionable surroundings by a few pupils will 
contaminate the many. It is for this reason that a care- 
ful watch should be kept of outhouses, latrines, and 
closets. To eHminate and prevent the shameful condi- 
tions so often represented in these places by indecent 
writing and drawing requires the most watchful and per- 
sistent care. In districts where this particular form of 
vice has become embedded, it is often necessary to make 
hourly or half-hourly inspections of the toilets, tracing 
every misdemeanor to its source, and inflicting the most 
severe penalties. This is not a pleasant business to be 
concerned with, but it is a duty that no true craftsman 
will shirk. 

References. — M. V. O'Shea : Dynamic Factors in Education^ 
chs. xv-xix; L. Kotelmann: School Hygiene, chs. ix-xiii; E. L. 
Thomdike: The Principles of Teaching, New York, 1906, ch. ii. 


Order and Discipline 

I. The problem of discipline looks first to the welfare 
of the whole. The conditions that are most favorable 
for the concentration of attention by the entire class must 
be estabhshed and preserved, otherwise waste is involved 
which is cumulative in proportion to the size of the class 
or the number of pupils in the room. This requirement 
impUes that each member of the class inhibit any impulse 
that may be inconsistent with these conditions; each 
member of the class must subordinate his own desires to 
the welfare of the class as a whole. This thesis is so 
simple and so closely parallel to the requirements that are 
demanded by all forms of civilized society that it is strange 
that one should think for a moment of denying the neces- 
sity for preserving discipUne; and yet there have been, 
and still are, educational theorists who must needs becloud 
this simple proposition with a haze of sentiment that dis- 
torts the true perspective and involves in practice great 
waste and marked injustice. 

There is but one way to avoid troubles of discipline, and that 
one way is to avoid all measures that make for good order, and 
resort to the laissez-faire doctrine that practically commits one 
to anarchy. When children come into the world free from 
every trace of primitive impulse, evincing none of the instincts 
that heredity impressed upon the race long before it became 



human, with civilized habits bred in the bone, and with altru- 
istic tendencies full-fledged — then the problem of discipline 
will have been eliminated from elementary education. But 
then, it must also be added, the need for education will have 
passed away and the teacher will be a luxury without a purpose. 

2. Authority the First Condition of Effective Discipline. 
The first condition of effective discipline is respect for the 
authority of the teacher. If this respect be sufficiently 
strong, the whole problem clears up and the solution is 
comparatively simple. To permit children to grow up in 
a constant attitude of disrespect for authority is to commit 
the gravest of pedagogical crimes. Legitimate responsi- 
bility must always be equalized by legitimate authority; 
authority must always be checked by responsibility. The 
law endows the teacher with sufficient authority to enforce 
every requirement for which he is legally and morally 
responsible. The vital question is how to assert this 
authority effectually over one's pupils. The following 
discussion will indicate some of the salient characteristics 
of the teacher that are absolutely essential to this end. 

(a) Courage. A bsolute fearlessness is the first essent ial_,,^_ 
for the teacher on whom rests the resgonsibility for govern- 
ing an elementary or secondary school. Xiiis fearlessness 

is not alona.or_ chiefly the expression of physical cour age, : 

although this must not be lacking.^ It is rather an 

* In the training of wild animals, loss of "nerve" is fatal to the trainer's 
success. The same condition holds in the training of children who at 
certain stages of their development are, as President Hall points out, / 
"the wildest of all wild animals." In either case, to show the slightest 
sign of fear is to surrender. 


expression of moral courage; daring the sometimes cer- 
tain interference of parents, officious trustees, and others 
of Hke character; standing firm in one^s convictions even 
though the community may not approve. And, after all, 
it is this sort of courage that is the rarest and, at the same 
time, the most essential. One must brave unpopularity. 
One must not hesitate, if necessary, to make enemies, 
to incur the dislike — temporarily, at least — of one's 
pupils. Happily this is a condition that is not often to 
be met, neither should it be permanent in any particular 
case, and yet it is from just such crises as this that the 
true craftsman will not shrink. The standards of his 
craft should be far more precious to him than popularity 
either with children or with parents. The world is wide, 
and the community that wishes to bring up its children in 
lawlessness and disrespect for authority is presumably at 
liberty to follow its whims ; but the schools of such a com- 
munity should be rigidly boycotted by all members of the 
teaching guild who respect themselves and hold in some 
measure of veneration the ideals of their craft. 

3. (b) Tact. The efficient exercise of authority must 
always involve that intangible quality known as tact. 
The teacher who blunders every dehcate situation of 
discipline that he meets will fail, whatever degree of cour- 
age he may possess. One should not understand by tact 
a willingness to surrender a single increment of the au- 
thority that belongs to one. But, after all, it is the result 
that is important — the fact, not the form. If the teacher 
can preserve his authority without vaunting it upon all 


occasions, his path of hfe will run smoothly. Order and 
respect for his authority are the sahent points. If these 
are secured, it matters little what people think, so long, 
of course, as their opinion has no injurious influence upon 
his work. In other words, there is no reason for a display 
of authority simply to emphasize the fact of authority. 
Those who exercise the greatest power in the world are the 
very people who keep the fact from impinging continually 
upon their neighbors' consciousness. The stamping, 
storming, blustering teacher or principal is one who lacks 
tact. The teacher who "fires up" before the occasion 
demands, declaring that he will have order or "kill some- 
body," is simply inviting serious trouble. The tactful 
teacher never blusters, never brags, never storms — but 
when occasion demands he acts, and acts swiftly, unerr- 
ingly, effectively, without "fuss," without fear of the con- 

4. (c) Persistence. In creating a condition of order 
in the classroom, it is essential that every rule laid down 
be adhered to rigidly, unremittingly. The acme of good 
disciphne is reached when the conditions of order are 
preserved automatically, without thought or judgment 
on the pupils' part. In other words, a classroom that is 
well disciplined has the conditions of good order reduced 
to habit. But the law of habit-building operates here 
with unrelenting certainty. To make the conditions of 
order automatic, every slightest exception must immedi- 
ately be noted and corrected. At first, some allowance 
should be made for forgetf ulness on the part of the pupils ; 


that is, an exception to an established rule should be cor- 
rected by brief admonition. But this must not be per- 
mitted to continue. *'I didn't think" cannot be condoned 
more than once. It is the business of education to train 
pupils to ''think" about the matters that require thought ; 
and pupils who habitually forget to obey rules should 
have their memory stimulated by something more effective 
than an admonition. The teacher who must constantly 
warn pupils and correct them for the same misdeeds over 
and over again is not an efficient disciplinarian. 

The vital import of this principle cannot be too strongly 
emphasized. It is a b3rword that more teachers fail through 
inability to "discipline" successfully than through any other 
one cause. And failure to discipline is most commonly due 
to lack of persistence. The teacher lays down a rule. The 
pupils break it once or twice to test the teacher, or perhaps 
they break it through forgetfulness. The experienced teacher 
gives the pupil the benefit of the doubt in such cases once and 
once only. But the young and inexperienced teacher keeps 
on with admonitions which become increasingly ineffective the 
longer they are employed ; or, what is far worse, he neglects to 
note a lapse from the established rule. That insidious Rip- 
Van- Winkleism, "This time will not count," is the rock upon 
which many a teacher *s prospects are wrecked. 

"What shall I do?" the young teacher will surely ask in 
this connection; "What shall I do when I have tried every 
device that I can think of, and still fail ?" There is no explicit 
formula that will cover each specific case, but one general sug- 
gestion may be given : Get order. , Drop everything else, if 
necessary, until order is secured. Stretch your authority to 
the breaking point if you can do nothing else. Pile penalty 
upon penalty for misdemeanors, and let the "sting" of each 


penalty be double that of its predecessor. Tire out the re- 
calcitrants if you can gain your end in no other way. Remem- 
ber that your success in your life work depends upon your 
success in this one feature of that work more thoroughly than it 
depends upon anything else. You have the law back of you, 
you have intelligent public sentiment back of you. Or, if the 
law be slow and halting, and public sentiment other than 
intelligent, you have on your side right, justice, and the ac- 
cimiulated experience of generations of teachers. 

5. {d) Scholarship. Those who have constantly to 
deal with children well know how hard it is to deceive 
them. Pupils may not detect weaknesses in the teacher's 
knowledge of which he himself is unaware, but they will 
unerringly detect any attempt to hide ignorance or to 
"bluff." A teacher whose scholarship is sound and 
secure, who knows his subject-matter, and who has the 
ability to present his knowledge in a form that children 
can comprehend will, other things equal, have less trouble 
with discipline than a teacher whose knowledge is uncer- 
tain or inaccurate, and especially one who is aware of his 
deficiencies and attempts to hide them. A frank con- 
fession of ignorance is far better than an attempt to gloss 
over inadequate knowledge ; but this confession must not 
come too often, and should certainly be offset by innu- 
merable instances of enlightenment. The teacher should 
never lose sight of the fact that his prime duty is to teach^ — 
to transmit to the child experience in one form or another, — 
and that his chief stock in trade is experience or knowledge. 
The teacher who is deficient in this respect may maintain 
his authcrity by force, but the maintenance of authority 


by this means alone will be of but little service. It ia 
only as the child comes to respect authority spontane- 
ously — only as he comes to recognize the work done in 
school as worth while — that subservience to authority will 
become a desirable factor in his education. 

6. (e) Justice, " Be just and fear not,'' is an excellent 
motto for a teacher who wishes to preserve the conditions 
of discipline and good order. Children, like adults, will 
respect what they beheve to be justice, and like adults 
they will resent injustice. Sometimes it is difficult if not 
impossible to convince children of the justice of a disci- 
plinary measure, but generally they will recognize that a 
demand or a request is " fair " if it really possesses this 
characteristic. The spirit of " fair play," — the " square 
deal " of which we hear so much in these days, — makes 
a strong appeal to the very pupils who are most fre- 
quently troublesome from the standpoint of discipline. 

An essential corollary of this principle of justice is a thorough- 
going impartiality in administering disciplinary measures. If 
there is such a thing as justice, it applies with equal force to 
the rich and the poor, the influential and the uninfluential. 
The public school should be the most democratic institution in 
the community, — and it must be said in its favor that it 
usually is. Only occasionally is the social " snob " to be found 
among the rank and file of the teaching guild. 

7. (/) Good Nature. One of the worst enemies of 
good order is an ill-tempered teacher. All the innate evil 
in children seems to be brought out and intensi^ed under 
the influence of a sour, morose, unlikable disposit.'on. On 


the other hand, there are some teachers who can command 
respect by the very fact of their genial, sunny dispositions. 
Doubtless these extremes depend upon conditions over 
which the individual has Httle control — some people 
inherit ill-favored dispositions, just as others inherit 
sunshine and laughter. But every teacher can control 
the conditions of good temper in some measure. First 
of all comes the matter of health, and first in this category, 
sufficient sleep. Even the best temper will be ruffled at 
the slightest provocation if the normal amount of sleep is 
long denied its possessor. A good digestion is too obvi- 
ously connected with a good disposition to require em- 
phasis at this point, except to say that a good digestion 
can often be acquired by appropriate measures, even if 
heredity has seemingly decreed otherwise. Sufficient food 
and whatever outdoor exercise the individual may need 
are likewise conditioning factors. 

By far the most important factor in this respect, how- 
ever, is freedom from worry. To escape the pitfall of 
"borrowing trouble" is one of the most difficult lessons 
for the beginning teacher to learn. The cares of the class- 
room are not light, even under the most favora^ le con- 
ditions. Some pupils will progress so slowly that their 
advance is not to be detected. Some will remain out of 
school for trivial reasons, and so delay the progress of the 
class. Some will torment the teacher with ingenious but 
soul-trying mischief. And, as if these were not enough, 
principals and supervisors and superintendents will sub- 
ject one to carping criticism, and patrons will threaten to 


deprive one of one's position unless certain ridiculous 
demands are acceded to. To "keep sweet" amidst a 
combination of all of these disturbing influences is a stu- 
pendous task. It is simple enough to say that it should be 
done : how to do it is another quite different matter. 

For all of these vexations and worries there is, in the writer's 
opinion, no balm so soothing and so generally effective as the 
sympathy of an older and more experienced teacher. The 
cultivation of outside interests will help, perhaps ; and certainly 
no teacher should be without some recreative activity that is 
more or less aHen to his daily work. But outside interests, if 
employed to offset the trials of the classroom, will tend to take 
too much energy and attention to themselves. In their nature 
they will be more attractive than school problems, and the 
teacher is apt to say to himself, "If I cannot succeed in teach- 
ing, I can at least do well at music, or at writing, or in business 
pursuits." On the other hand, sympathetic intercourse with 
fellow-workers will constantly emphasize the craft spirit, — 
the most priceless possession of the teacher, and the possession 
that he is most likely to lose in the earlier stages of his career. 
His effort should be to keep the craft spirit alive at all hazards. 
He should constantly look upon his work as professional service, 
and upon himself as an initiate into the privileges of that service. 
The free association of kindred minds will do more to keep this 
craft spirit alive than anything else. Any form of social service 
must be dreary, discouraging work if the tasks that it imposes 
are not attacked with enthusiasm. In many cities one may 
find Kttle coteries of teachers that gather together at stated 
intervals for the purpose (not always avowed) of cultivating 
the craft spirit, of keeping alive enthusiasm in the work. From 
these meetings the pessimist, the malcontent, the teacher 
ashamed of his calling, and the teacher who works with his 


eyes upon the clock and his mind upon pay day, are all rigidly 
excluded. No better lot can befall the beginning teacher than 
to become identified with one of these guilds — for guilds they 
are, although not always consciously. There he will find the 
comfort that really cheers, the advice that really helps, the 
idealism that really inspires. And there, too, he will receive his 
due share both of the praise that will not puff him up, and of 
the blame that will not cast him down. But above all, he will 
learn from this intercourse that the trials and troubles are not 
his alone, that many of them are intrinsic in the very nature of 
his calling, and that the safest and sanest policy is to look upon 
them as problems of the day's work — problems to be studied 
in sober reflection, and solved with dispassionate judgment. 

8. Other Factors involved in Securing Order. Respect 
for the teacher, however, is not the sole condition of order 
in the classroom. Many classrooms in which the pupils 
would not dare to break a rule or infringe wittingly upon 
the rights of others are characterized by a confusion that 
makes good work practically impossible. The difficulty 
here is not lack of effective authority, but rather lack of 
skill in exercising authority. 

{a) The Teachers Voice, Probably superintendents 
and principals would generally agree that, next to inability 
to secure respectful obedience from pupils, most of the 
trouble indiscipline has its source in the voice of the teacher. 
The temptation to speak to children in a high-pitched, 
rasping voice is very hard to resist, especially when there 
is the least bit of noise or confusion in the classroom. As 
the teacher's voice becomes louder and louder, the tumult 
increases in like proportions, until finally one must shout 


in order to be heard. To one who tries, for the first time, 
the remedial measure of a low voice in such a situation, the 
result is little less than astounding. As the teacher lowers 
his voice, the hubbub gradually dies away, and almost 
before one is conscious of the change, quiet and order have 
succeeded confusion and chaos. Each pupil is on the 
alert to catch every word, and, through an imitative im- 
pulse, almost immediately lowers his own voice and 
modulates its accents to fit in with the new scheme. The 
remedy is so simple that one could hardly be pardoned for 
mentioning it here, were it not so frequently overlooked 
even by teachers who are otherwise highly efficient. 

9. (b) Mechanized Routine. This matter has been 
discussed in detail in an earher chapter ^ and needs notice 
here simply as a factor in good order. Haphazard methods 
of forming lines, passing materials, etc., not only waste 
time in themselves, but also produce noise and confusion 
that interfere with good work. Many a school in which 
disorder prevails could be almost instantly reformed by a 
few simple regulations governing routine. 

10. (c) Keeping Pupils Occupied. This is one of those 
blanket provisions that one meets so frequently in treatises 
upon the subject of school management. Every one knows 
that children who are kept occupied in some educative ac- 
tivity occasion a minimum of trouble from the standpoint 
of discipline. The chief difficulty lies in the " How," not in 
the *'What," and this question is for educational method 
and not classroom management to answer. After all, there 

* See below, ch. iii. 


are in every school enough tasks to be done. The difficulty 
lies in the fact that some pupils would rather do almost any- 
thing else than the tasks that are imposed. The problem, 
therefore, is reduced to that which will claim our attention 
in the following chapters. Incentives must be supplied 
which will lead the pupil to put forth effort toward the 
attainment of the ends that he should seek. Work should, 
indeed, be made interesting and worth while, but it is not 
to be inferred Trom this that the teacher should strain 
every effort to provide "entertaining" tasks for his pupils. 
The very excellent doctrine of interest has been far too 
frequently interpreted to mean a doctrine of entertain- 
ment. The pupil should assuredly be kept occupied. 
Assuredly also he should, in course of time, become inter- 
ested in this activity. But neither of these requirements 
is or should be inconsistent with the functioning in the 
pupil's mind of a strong and effective ideal of duty. If 
the teacher possesses sufficient authority and can assert 
this successfully, ideals of duty can be cultivated with a 
minimum of trouble. Even under this condition there 
will still be plenty of room left for appl)dng the legitimate 
doctrine of interest. 

II. (d) Substitution versus Repression. The dictum, 
**Keep pupils busy," finds a much more practical and 
dignified expression in what may be termed the "doctrine 
of substitution." ^ This doctrine would prevent the ex- 
pression of undesirable impulses by substituting some 

^ Cf . E. L. T\orndike : Principles of Teaching, New York, 1906, 
pp. 22 f.; J. A. H. Keith: Elementary Education, pp. 124 f. 


other form of activity rather than by requiring an abso- 
lute inhibition of all movement. Thus the introduction of 
manual training is justified, from one point of view, because 
of the fact that it provides objective work demanding an 
exercise of various muscles; the surplus energy finds an 
outlet, and does not express itself in undesirable ways. 
The alternation of form and content subjects in the daily 
program also provides opportunity for an application of 
the doctrine of substitution. The tendency to do away 
with recess periods is to be condemned, among other 
reasons, because it eliminates an opportunity for apply- 
ing this principle. In general, it may be concluded that 
substitution is to be preferred to absolute repression in se- 
curing freedom from undesirable and unsocial tendencies. 
On the other hand, it is quite impossible to do away en- 
tirely with repressing influences. Actual experience in 
managing children has convinced the writer that the intro- 
duction of manual training and hand work in its various 
forms may mitigate but certainly does not eliminate the 
difficulties of "discipline." 

References. — Seeley: A New School Management, ch. vii; 
Button: School Management, ch. vii; Kellogg: School Manage- 
ment, ch. vii; Tompkins: Philosophy of School Management, 
pp. 157^183; Thomdike: Principles of Teaching, ch. iii; O'Shea: 
Dynamic Factors in Education, ch. i. 


1. Under the conditions of imperfection through which 
humanity must struggle, every form of government that 
aims to secure law and order must employ penalties for 
offenses against estabUshed rules. It must be remembered 
that not every individual needs to be subjected to a penalty 
in order to insure the inhibition of his unsocial impulses. 
The infliction of the penalty is always the last resort, 
reserved for those cases in which all other means fail. 
The welfare of society must be preserved at any cost to 
the individual, but it is the_.f]md^mental.^rmciple^ 
e^nment t hat the welfare of so ciety s hould not cost the 
individual any more jn the way of pain or inhibition or 
repression than is absolutely necessary. The same prin- 
ciple apphes with equal force to the government of the 
school. The welfare of the mass is a consideration against 
which the claims of no single individual can have pre- 
ponderant weight. The individual must, if necessary, be 
sacrificed to the mass ; but this sacrifice must not be made 
unless the necessity is clear, nor in any greater degree than 
the necessity demands. 

2. What is to be understood by a well-ordered class- 
room? Nothing more nor less than this: a room from 


which all unnecessary distractions due to lack of control on 
the part of individual pupils have been eradicated. The 
concentration of attention on the part of individual pupils 
is best accomplished under conditions that are free (i) from 
intermittent sound stimuli; (2) from olfactory stimuli, 
either pleasant or unpleasant; (3) from visual stimuli 
caused by erratic and intermittent movements. The 
necessity of some form of government or discipline arises 
from the fact that especially the first and last of these 
distracting influences are very easily occasioned by lack 
of inhibition on the part of individual pupils. 

The point that needs emphasis is this : inhibition is an 
acquired arty not a primitive instinct. The instincts are 
all, practically, in the direction of movement; repression 
of the impulse to move must be learned through experi- 
ence. The basic principle that underlies this develop- 
ment is best expressed in the "pleasure-pain" hypothesis; 
whenever an instinctive movement results in pain, it tends 
thereafter to be repressed ; whenever it results in pleasure, 
it tends thereafter to be repeated. 

3. Spencer^ s Doctrine of Natural Punishments. This 
fundamental biological principle lies at the basis of the 
most thoroughgoing theory of discipline that has yet been 
elaborated — Herbert Spencer's doctrine of ** natural pun- 
ishments." ^ It will be necessary at this point to consider 
this theory in some detail, not only because it is, like 
everything that this great master brought forth, thoroughly 

^ H. Spencer: Edttcation, New York, 1895 (Appleton's edition), pp. 
161 £f. 


worth serious study, but also because it has had a pro- 
found effect upon educational practice. 

Spencer argues from the biological postulate that the 
function of pain is to act as a deterrent with reference to 
experiences that are injurious to the organism. Harmful 
adjustments, he assumes, always issue in pain ; beneficial 
adjustments in pleasure. In moral conduct, this biological 
principle becomes the criterion for ''right" and "wrong": 
"That conduct whose total moral results, immediate and 
remote, are beneficial, is good conduct; while conduct 
whose total results, immediate and remote, are injurious, is 
bad conduct." ^ Thus the happiness or the misery that 
results as the inevitable consequence of any act becomes the 
reward or the punishment of that act. To subject a child 
to a "natural" punishment, therefore, is simply to stand 
out of the way and let him reap the natural consequences 
of his act. 

Spencer maintains that a natural punishment has the 
following advantages over an artificial punishment : (i) It 
is unavoidable and inevitable.^ (2) It is proportionate to 
the degree of offense — "to the degree in which the organic 
laws have been transgressed." "A sHght accident brings 
a slight pain, a more serious one, a greater pain." (3) It 
is "constant, direct, unhesitating, and not to be escaped." 
"No threats, but a silent, rigorous performance. If the 
child runs a pin into its finger, pain follows. If it does it 
again, there is again the same result, and so on perpetually. 

^ Spencer, op. cit., p. 1 73. 

' Ibid., p. 175. (All following citations are from the same section.) 


In all its dealings with surrounding inorganic nature it 
finds this unswerving persistence, which listens to no 
excuse, and from which there is no appeal; and very soon 
recognizing this stem though beneficent discipline it 
becomes extremely careful not to transgress." (4) Natural 
punishments "hold throughout life." ''It is by the 
experimentally gained knowledge of the natural conse- 
quences that men and women are checked when they go 

It will be readily seen that on the surface this theory 
has much to commend it to the educational practitioner. 
If a pupil fails through idleness to prepare his tasks during 
school hours, he is "kept in" after school to make up his 
deficiencies. If he is unduly disorderly at recess time, he is 
deprived of his recess. If he abuses the privileges of the 
school, he is suspended or expelled. All these punish- 
ments Spencer would term "natural" ; although, in a strict 
interpretation of his theory, the natural consequences of 
failure to perform the tasks required by education would 
be the evils attending lack of knowledge and training, and 
this punishment would not, of course, come to its full frui- 
tion short of the maturity of the pupil. This is the weak 
point in the practical appHcation of Spencer's theory; his 
illustrations do not always illustrate the point that he is 
trying to make. Taking them at their face value, how- 
ever, it will be noted that the punishments instanced, 
whether natural or artificial, are among those most gener- 
ally condemned by experienced teachers. "Keeping in" 
after school, depriving a pupil of recesses, and suspension 


and expulsion, are all looked upon as akin to bad prac- 
tice. And primarily for a very simple reason — namely, 
that they are generally ineffective. 

4. The difficulty with Spencer's theory is not, however, 
confined to the inapt illustrations that he uses. His 
fundamental hypothesis in so far as it pertains to human 
action is inadequate, as will appear from the following 
analysis : — 

{a) The natural consequences of an act are frequently 
too far removed both in time and in space from the act 
itself to permit in the agent's mind that firm association 
which is essential if the pain is to become a deterrent. 
Especially is this true with immature children, whose span 
of attention is narrow, and who cannot think back from 
painful consequences through a multitude of intermediate 
experiences to the act that gave rise to the consequences. 
Adults not infrequently fail to make the connection between 
effect and cause unless the one follows directly upon the 
other; the ignorant and superstitious will invariably 
ascribe pains and penalties to bad luck, supernatural forces, 
insidious enemies, fate — anything rather than their own 
misdeeds or lack of foresight. The doctrine of natural 
punishments becomes, therefore, impracticable in all 
cases where the consequences are separated from the act 
by a long period of time. 

(b) Again the painful consequences of a given act may 
be inflicted, not upon the agent, but upon others, perhaps 
in the distant future long after the agent himself has gone 
to his reward. How such a condition can be a deter- 


ring factor in the adjustment of the agent is hard to 

(c) It is not clear that natural punishments are always 
"proportionate to the degree in which the organic laws 
have been transgressed." "Nature" does not make 
distinctions so fine as this. It works by the law of aver- 
ages, and if, in the long run^ an action is injurious, it is 
rendered, through the slow process of natural selection, 
either painful or fatal. But so long as the race as a 
whole is perpetuated, nature (speaking metaphorically, 
of course) is satisfied. Natural selection is crude in its 
operations. Whatever it permits to survive is not, for 
that reason alone, perfect. It is useful only, perhaps, in 
the bare majority of cases ; in a large minority of cases, it 
may, indeed, be fatal. 

(d) Nor is the brute instinct of pleasure and pain a valid 
and indisputable guide to conduct under the conditions of 
social life. The main reason, biologically, for the exist- 
ence of mind and intellect is the very inadequacy of in- 
stinct. As man comes more and more under the control 
of civiHzed conditions, many of the things that once meant 
danger to the organism no longer mean danger, although 
they still have the primitive mark of danger attached to 
them — they still cause pain. On the other hand, some 
of the things that were once good for the organism living 
under primitive conditions are no longer good for the 
organism living under social conditions; but they still 
have the primitive sign of the beneficial attached to them 
— they are still "pleasant." Through experience, man 


comes to learn this. In other words, he comes to under- 
stand that present pains and discomforts may be essential 
to the full fruition of a desired end. The ability to make 
this judgment is the distinctive feature of human intelli- 
gence as opposed to brute instinct. 

5. Nevertheless, Spencer's theory ma^ be held as basic 
in this regard: the first steps in self-control are taken at 
the behest of immediate consequences, be these either 
pleasant or painful. Until mind can look into the future 
and govern adjustment with reference to remote ends, the 
primitive pleasure-pain economy will and must be the 
only guide. Civilization imposes requirements the true 
value of which cannot be comprehended in the narrow 
span of the primitive mind. To wait until natural con- 
sequences shall correct misdemeanors is impossible under 
these conditions. In fact, some misdemeanors may, if 
left to themselves, bring pleasant immediate consequences 
that will greatly multiply the chances that similar misdeeds 
will follow. Obviously the only recourse is to introduce 
artificial punishments that will associate so vividly with 
the misdeeds as to prevent the recurrence of the latter. 
It is the duty of adult inteUigence to do this. The very 
essence of the helplessness and dependence of infancy and 
immaturity is to insure the government of the child's 
action more or less completely through adult precept and 

6. In individual instruction, where the needs of but one 
person require consideration, the practice of having all 
delinquencies made up in kind (keeping after hours for 


idleness, depriving the pupil of a privilege in case of its 
abuse, etc.) may be efiFective. This, however, as has 
been indicated above, is not true of class management. 
In deahng with children in masses, discipHnary measures 
are undertaken primarily to promote the welfare of the 
whole. Whatever penalties are inflicted, therefore, must 
be measured by this standard. The individual must not 
be forgotten, but the welfare of no single individual can, 
in equity, be counted against the welfare of the class. 
Where the so-called natural punishments (keeping after 
school, etc.) are employed in class management, they often 
fail to have a deterring effect upon other pupils, and they 
fail very frequently to reach the offender himself. The 
distraction that the offense brought about is repeated 
again and again, so long as the pleasant consequences of 
the offense overbalance the unpleasant consequences — ■ 
and one needs only to refer to one's own school days to 
recall that being ''kept after school," or losing a recess, 
was a very light penalty to pay for certain forbidden 
pleasures. In short, the end of discipline in such cases is 
not gained. The body of the class suffers from the mis- 
demeanors of the individual, and the penalty fails to bring 
justice to the majority. 

7. This guiding principle indicates that individual mis- 
deeds which prevent the economical operation of classroom 
influences for the welfare of the majority of the pupils 
must be eliminated at any cost. Any measure which will 
effect this end with the least possible injury to the penalized 
pupil must be looked upon as legitimate. The great and 


vital question is this : Is the measure effective in fulfilling 
the aim of discipHne — namely, the preservation of those 
conditions that are essential to the welfare of the majority ? 
Once this question is answered, a second question may be 
raised: What effect does this measure have upon the 
penaHzed pupil, and could equal efficiency be secured by 
a measure involving less injury? In short, the whole 
process is one of compromise. 

This does not argue for a return to the blind, rule-of-the-rod 
discipline of the early schools. The old-time policy defeated 
its own purposes just as thoroughly, just as completely, as does 
its ultra-modern antithesis. But the tendency of civilization 
in corrective measures is toward leniency only in so far as lenient 
measures are more effective than harsh measures. Intelligent 
leniency is often the high-water mark of moral strength ; blind 
and emotional leniency is just as frequently to be identified with 
moral weakness. And this is quite as true of the justice's 
court as it is of the classroom. The community that is cursed 
with hoodlumism usually supports a "weak-kneed " administra- 
tor of the law, and the school that is cursed with constant and 
unrelieved disorder is commonly presided over by a weak- 
kneed principal. The combination of a soft heart and a soft 
head is fatal to efficiency in either office. 

8. The Fundamental Principles. From the preceding 
discussion it is clear that the efficiency of a penalty 
in securing the repression of undesirable activities will 
depend upon three factors: (i) the degree of pain, 
discomfort, or disagreeableness which the penalty in- 
volves; a penalty from which the "sting" has been 
carefully extracted has lost thereby its chief virtue as a 


penalty; (2) the closeness with which it is associated with 
the undesirable impulse; a penalty that is not associated 
explicitly and directly with an undesirable act may, by 
chance, become associated with a desirable response : thus 
if the pain of chastisement, for example, is associated with 
school Ufe in general instead of with some forbidden ac- 
tivity, school will become distasteful and will be avoided 
whenever possible; (3) its freedom from painful conse- 
quences in excess of those needed to inhibit the undesirable 
impulse ; a penalty that is not sufficiently severe is unjust 
to the mass; a penalty which is unnecessarily severe is 
unjust to the individual ; a penalty which is effective in a 
given instance and yet which lingers and rankles in the 
pupil's mind may, in the last analysis, work more injury 
than good. 

9. Corporal Punishment as a Penalty. From the stand- 
point of theory, corporal punishment probably best fulfills 
the conditions named above as a penalty for apphcation 
in the elementary school, (i ) In the first place, the " sting " 
is generally present and, except under abnormal conditions, 
disagreeable enough to deter the offender from a repetition 
of the act. (2) Corporal punishment can be inflicted in 
close sequence upon the forbidden act and so insure the 
association that is so essential. (3) Corporal punish- 
ment does not, as a rule, leave a pain that persists and 
rankles, as do some other forms of punishm'ent usually 
looked upon as more humane; for example, "scoldings." 

On the other hand, corporal punishment sometimes fails 
of these virtues, (i) Some pupils probably become hard- 


ened to chastisement, and thus the penalty comes effectually 
to lose its "sting"; again, abnormal individuals may be 
quite anaesthetic — practically insensitive to pain stimuli ; 
again, the fact of corporal punishment may be given a high 
value among pupils as a hero-making process; conse- 
quently the pleasure of adulation will overtop the physical 
pain of chastisement, and thus the '* sting" will, in effect, 
be eUminated. (2) Corporal punishment may be so long 
delayed as not to be associated with the forbidden act ; it 
may be administered so frequently that the association 
is lost to view; even if administered in close sequence to 
the act, the association may not be definitely forced home 
by the teacher. (3) Corporal punishment may have 
injurious after-effects that are out of proportion to the 
seriousness of the penalized offense; for example, if the 
pupil thinks himself to be punished unjustly, the physical 
pain may be replaced by a mental pain that lingers and 

10. If corporal punishment is applied, therefore, it must 
always be with a distinct recognition of its limitations and 
dangers. The points noted above may be embodied in 
three sets of rules or cautions : (i) Do not employ corporal 
punishment if its sting has been extracted, either actu- 
ally or effectually. Do not apply corporal punishment to 
** hardened" cases; these can generally be more effectively 
influenced by some other means. If youthful recalcitrants 
court corporal punishment because it gives them prestige 
with their fellow- pupils, either increase the intensity of the 
stimulus so that it will overtop the pleasure of adulation, 


or, in case this is impracticable, resort to expulsion or sus- 
pension; it may be assumed, however, that the latter 
measure will be needed only in very exceptional cases; 
at any rate, it is well to keep on with the punishment imtil 
there is no doubt of its inefficacy. 

(2) The application of corporal punishment should 
become less and less frequent as the teacher's authority 
becomes more and more adequately recognized. Where it 
is necessary to use the rod day after day and year after 
year on the same pupils, a possible agency for good has 
been transformed into an unquestioned agency for evil. 
It is treatment like this that hardens boys into fit recruits 
for the criminal classes. Nevertheless this should not be 
interpreted to mean that a recalcitrant should be chastised 
once and once only. The first appHcation is sometimes 
looked upon by the pupil only as a test. He may accept 
it graciously and still persist in the undesired act. It may 
take several appHcations firmly to associate the act with 
an unpleasant consequence. But in course of time the 
pupil will come to understand that the teacher must be 
obeyed. This conviction may later be transformed into 
a ''tradition" that is effective with succeeding classes. 
The writer knows of several cases where a teacher or a 
principal entering a new school has established his authority 
at the outset by means of severe disciplinary measures, 
and where such measures have become so essential a part 
of the traditions of his room or his school that the neces- 
sity for their repetition has never arisen after the first year 
of service. The pupils are certain in their own minds that 


unpleasant consequences will follow an infraction of the 
rules, and the tradition of these consequences (perhaps 
even magnified in the course of time) comes to operate, 
vicariously as it were, for the actual penalties. 

(3) If corporal punishment is appUed, the teacher 
should always be certain that the pupil either recognizes 
its justice or will come to recognize its justice. The best 
guide in this matter is for the teacher to be certain that 
the penalty is just. Whenever misdemeanors occur, the 
responsibility for which cannot be accurately placed, it is 
unwise to administer corporal punishment to any pupil 
or pupils on the mere chance that he or they may be guilty. 
In short, circumstantial evidence should never justify 
corporal punishment. It is the writer's experience that 
this is the only safe policy, although now and then a guilty 
pupil may escape the penalty. If the pupils gain the 
idea that the teacher is absolutely just and fair, the 
chances are that unidentifiable guilt will be reduced to a 

11. Summary. Corporal punishment is at best only a 
tentative measure, designed to teach the child the initial 
lessons of decency and order. It is an extremely effective 
agency for fulfilling this function if it is used temperately 
and with good sense. Its possibihties of evil are incal- 
culable if it is used in any other way. 

12. The Reaction against Corporal Punishment. So 
many evils have sprung from the abuse of the rod in the 
past that the prevailing tendency of the present time is to 
abolish it entirely from the educative process. This is 


an extreme reaction, and the pendulum will doubtless soon 
come to swing back toward a position of equilibrium, as 
it does in the case of all extreme movements in education. 
Nevertheless, the reaction is at present so pronounced that 
one who deliberately recommends corporal punishment as 
a school penalty cannot overlook the arguments against 
it. These may be briefly summarized as follows : — 

(a) The progress of the race is away from the brutal and 
toward the human — conjecturaliy, at least, toward that 
highest ideal of humanity that is termed ''divine." Corporal 
punishment appeals to the bruce instincts, consequently it is 
inconsistent with the general trend of progress. It is largely 
for this reason that it has been abolished as a civil penalty. 

This argument overlooks a very important fact. Although 
the progress of the race is away from the brute, the individual 
who is born into the world is, biologically, no farther away 
from the brute than was the infant who was born at the very 
dawn of human progress. That is, everything that makes man 
human is a product not of heredity but of culture and training 
— education in the broadest sense of the term. No matter 
how far civilization may develop, civilized society must always 
take the child at the brute level and raise him to the social 
level. Human progress is extremely rapid; but biological 
progress — and this is the only kind that will have any effect 
upon heredity — is extremely slow. This is one of the most 
profound truths that modern science has revealed, and 
it is a truth that the great mass of mankind, who have no 
knowledge of biology, find it hard indeed to appreciate. Every- 
thing else is advancing, they say; why should the principles 
of early education remain stationary? And yet they must 
remain practically stationary so long as the race remains what 
it is physically. There is as yet no evidence that the culture 


and virtue accumulated by each generation are transmitted 
to its offspring through the forces of heredity. 

That corporal punishment has been abolished as a civil 
penalty does not necessarily argue its inadequacy as a school 
penalty. The criminal may be so hardened to pain — or so 
abnormally anaesthetic — that blows would have no effect 
upon him. But even beyond this, the cases are entirely differ- 
ent. In the one case, we are dealing with a child who has no 
experience to draw upon, who cannot project himself into the 
future and see the remote consequences of his acts. In the 
other case, we are dealing with an adult who, presumably, has 
reached the age of reason. 

(b) Corporal punishment antagonizes the child, placing him 
in an attitude of habitual opposition to authority. 

This is true in a very small proportion of cases, and these are 
probably, in the main, cases that represent an abuse of the 
measure. If all corporal punishment had this disastrous effect, 
ninety-nine per cent of the men and women of to-day would 
be enrolled among the anarchists. (The figure, of course, 
is only conjectural, but it would be surprising if more than 
one per cent of the adult population of the land failed to taste 
either the slipper, the shingle, or the birch during their child- 

(c) Corporal punishment leads the child to hate and despise 
the parents and teachers who inflict it. 

And yet adults not infrequently have the greatest respect and 
love for the parents and the teachers who corrected them in 
their youth. Children will resent an unjust punishment, and 
this resentment will probably linger for a long time — even 
into adulthood. This is not a reason, however, for abandoning 
the rod of correction. It is rather an indication of the care 
that must be exercised in not permitting a child to be punished 
unjustly. He may not always see the justice of his chastise- 
ment, but the likelihood is that he will see it later if justice has 


really been done him. It is in cases of flagrant injustice that 
resentment brings evil results. 

(d) It is cowardly for an adult to "take a stick and attack a 
defenseless child." 

This is hardly deserving of a place among serious arguments. 
In the first place, it is decidedly distasteful for the great major- 
ity of men and women to administer corporal punishment. In 
the average of cases, one may safely assume that it takes cour- 
age rather than cowardice to resort to this measure. In the 
second place, the indictment would easily cover all cases where 
authority is armed with the power of execution. If it is cowardly 
for the teacher to wield the rod, it is cowardly for the policeman 
to carry a ''billy," for the judge to pass sentence on a prisoner 
(surely the prisoner is defenseless in the same sense that the 
child is), and for the jail warden to keep his keys in his own 
possession instead of distributing them among his prisoners, 
in order that they may have an ''equal chance." 

(e) Corporal punishment and other harsh measures of dis- 
cipline tend to discourage pupils with school life and lead them 
to take the first opportunity to seek remunerative employment. 

This is the most serious indictment against every measure 
that tends to make school work in any way irksome. Exami- 
nations have been condemned for the same reason; also the 
formal drills that are necessary to lay the automatic foundations 
of life. School work must be made pleasant, interesting, agree- 
able, otherwise education will fail to reach the individuals who 
need it the most.^ 

^ It would be difficult to conjecture the practical results of this argu- 
ment. In every school system there is a desire on the part of the authori- 
ties to "show numbers." The man who can build up a large school is 
the successful man in education. How he attracts his pupils is a matter 
of little importance as long as he gets them. The motive may not be 
consciously formulated, but it is frequently present, whether one is con- 
scious of it or not. Again there are well-meaning but shortsighted indi- 


This argument has little force against a temperate use of 
corporal punishment in the elementary school. The great 
majority of pupils on whom corporal punishment is inflicted 
remain in school, and it would be hard to prove that those who 
leave do so for the reason ascribed. Beyond this, nearly every 
state has a compulsory education law that operates in the ele- 
mentary school. Under an effective enforcement of such a 
law the condition mentioned could not, of course, exist. 

(/) Corporal punishment tends to brutalize the individual 
who inflicts it. 

This is an argument of some force, suggesting a condition 
that may easily come to operate. That corporal punishment 
necessarily brutalizes is certainly disproved by innumerable 
cases of schoolmen (and schoolwomen) who have employed the 
measure and are still within the pale of humanity. But the 
danger is one to be borne in mind and counteracted in all pos- 
sible ways. It is quite analogous to the danger that confronts 
all who deal largely with immature minds, — the tendency, 
namely, to become dogmatic and unyielding through too wide 
an exercise of autocratic authority. 

viduals who believe that the privileges of the school should be extended 
as widely as possible, but who fail to discriminate between a large attend- 
ance and effective work. Certainly if good work can be accomplished 
without drill, examinations, or the imposing of penalties for disorder, let 
us abolish all these things. No one would perpetuate a disagreeable 
thing if its function could be fulfilled in any other way. To "let down 
the bars" is imperative unless there is good and valid reason for keeping 
them up. Is there this reason? Ask a high school principal whose 
pupils have been "kindergartened" up through the grades what he thinks 
of eliminating the drills in the elementary school, — or ask a business man 
whose apprentices have come from a high school where " sof t " pedagog}^ has 
prevailed. The progress of a class is always measured by the ability of 
its slowest members, and it makes little diflFerence in the end whether 
these slow members are naturally stupid or whether they are simply 
indolent from want of a proper incentive for effort. 


(g) Corporal punishment is ineffective in securing the ends 
which it seeks. To quote a contemporary authority: "The 
rod never did produce good results in any case, unless there 
was character in the teacher who used it. This character in 
the teacher properly used would have produced better results 
in every case without the rod. Every experienced superin- 
tendent knows many cases in which men and women who used 
corporal punishment have ignominiously failed, and whose 
classes have been restored to good order and kindled to a spirit 
of enthusiasm for working by a Httle woman who did not practice 
coercion in any form." ^ 

The supposititious cases cited could, of course, be easily offset 
by innumerable instances in which a teacher who failed through 
lack of firmness in asserting his authority has been succeeded 
by another teacher who has brought a decadent school "up 
with a sharp turn " by a judicious use of the rod.^ For every 
superintendent who could adduce one instance of the former sort 
there are doubtless ten who could bring up as many instances 
of the latter variety. Until an accurate investigation is made 
upon the matter, one statement is precisely as good as another. 
For example, take the following testimony by the principal of 
a large grammar school in Buffalo : " While I believe that the 
time of frequent use of the rod of punishment as a warning to 
others has passed, I firmly believe that, notwithstanding the 
great progress made in the management of our educational 
affairs, there has not yet been found an adequate substitute for 
a good strap to bring a real bad boy to his senses." ^ 

13. Practically all authorities upon school management 
admit the efficiency of corporal punishment, but would 

^ J. L. Hughes, in Journal of Education (Boston), vol. Ixiii, pp. 485 f. 
^ Cf . the case cited by White : School Management, pp. 208 f . 
' J. L. Bothwell: "How to dispose of the Incorrigible Boy," in Pro- 
ceedings of the New York State Teachers' Association, 1905, p. 104. 


restrict its application to a very narrow sphere. White * 
recommends its use only in cases of rebellion, meaning 
by that term a positive refusal on the part of the child to 
accede to the request of the teacher. Button ^ admits 
that "theoretically there are extreme cases where it (cor- 
poral punishment) is needed for the good of the offender," 
but he imphes that teachers cannot be generally trusted 
to use the measure temperately and effectively, and that 
the school boards that have aboUshed it "have chosen the 
lesser of two evils.'* Roark ^ agrees that corporal punish- 
ment should be used but rarely, but insists that "no teacher 
can afford to let it be understood that whipping is abol- 
ished." Kellogg^ indorses "bodily chastisement" as a 
last resort. Tompkins ^ believes it to be justified with 
pupils "whose integument is the only avenue to the main- 
spring of conduct." Seeley® also indorses a temperate 
use of the rod as far preferable to many other penalties 
commonly employed. Baldwin ^ summarizes his discus- 
sion of corporal punishment in the maxim, "Grant the 
right, but avoid the use." Landon's position ® is equally 
explicit : " Moral offenses of a grave character, deliberate 
and continued neglect of admonition or rebellion, may be 

* E. E. White : School Management, New York, 1893, pp. 207 f. 
^ S, T. Button: School Management, New York, 1904, p. 104. 
^ R. N. Roark: Economy in Education, New York, 1905, p. 45. 

* A. M. Kellogg: School Management, New York, 1884, p. 69. 

* Arnold Tompkins : Philosophy of School Management, Boston, 1898, 

P- 173- 

^ L. Seeley : A New School Management, New York, 1903, pp. 97 ff. 
' J. Baldwin: Art of School Management, New York, 1887, p. 176. 

* J..Landon: School Management, Boston, 1884, pp. 352 f. 


justly treated by corporal punishment; and it is some- 
times necessary to give a physical check of this kind, as 
a counterpoise to wrong propensities or long-estabUshed 
habits, as a means of arousing the pupil from that dreamy 
irresolution which is frequently the greatest obstacle to 
reformation." The last-named authority also has this to 
say with regard to the supposed evil effects of the prac- 
tice: ''Those persons who have most carefully watched 
its effects will probably concur that, where used with skill 
and discretion by a sympathetic teacher, and where care 
is taken to neutrahze its side tendencies by other good in- 
fluences, there is Httle or no cause to fear any evil results. 
There is something radically wrong besides the mere use 
of corporal punishment wherever the long train of evils 
laid to its charge are ever realized in practice." Keith* 
indorses corporal punishment as a last resort, asserting 
that it is better for the child that "he should suffer the 
pain of corporal punishment and even the disgrace of 
being whipped in the presence of his peers than that he 
should persist in acts of selfishness and meanness/' 

Conspicuous among the recent writers upon this subject 
is Dr. J. S. Taylor, assistant superintendent of the New 
York City schools. Dr. Taylor^ anathematizes corporal 
punishment as a "reHc of barbarism," and asserts with 
itahcized vehemence that a principal "who cannot disci- 
pline a school without corporal punishment, could not 

1 J. A. H. Keith: Elementary Education, Chicago, 1905, p. 288. 
' J. S. Taylor: Art of Class Management and Discipline, New York, 
i903> PP- 62 £f. 


successfully do so with corporal punishment.'* His dis- 
cussion is extremely suggestive, but he is obviously in a 
decided minority among authorities upon the subject. 
It should be said, however, that he writes chiefly for the 
teachers in a large city system, where the prestige of a 
vast organization is very much in evidence, and where 
authority is backed up by truant officers and parental 
schools. Nevertheless, even under these conditions, it 
is interesting to note that the Male Principals' Association 
of Manhattan Borough received a report ^ from a represen- 
tative committee, recommending corporal punishment in 
extreme cases, and basing this recommendation upon 
some very sane and cogent arguments. 

"Dr. G. Stanley Hall, in his article on 'Moral Education and 
Will Training,' cites from Richter the recordofaSwabian school- 
master, named Haberle, as an example of the severity which 
once prevailed in Germany in the matter of punishment — 
truly a remarkable count for 51 years and 7 months as a teacher : 
'911,527 blows with a cane; 124,010 with a rod; 20,989 with 
a ruler; 136,715 with the hand; 10,295 over the mouth; 
7905 boxes on the ears; 1,115,800 snaps on the head; 22,763 
nota benes with Bible, catechism, hymn book, and grammar; 
777 times boys had to kneel on peas; 613 times on triangular 
blocks of wood; 5001 had to carry a timber mare, and 1701 
hold the rod high — the last two being punishments of his own 
invention. Of the blows with the cane, 800,000 were for Latin 
vowels, and 76,000 of those with the rod for Bible verses and 
hymns. He used a scolding vocabulary of over 3000 terms, 
of which one third were of his own invention.' 

''Against this punitory maximum. Dr. Hall, the gist of whose 
* These resolutions will be found in Taylor, op. cit., pp. 71 £f. 


article is 'that only in so far as the primitive will of the child 
is wrong by nature are drastic reconstructions of any sort 
needed,' everything depending on how 'aboriginal our good- 
ness is,' and upon ' that better purity established by our mother 
in our heart before the superfetation of precept is possible,' 
ranges * the now too common habit of coquetting for the child's 
favor, and tickling its ego with praises and prizes, and peda- 
gogic pettifogging for its good will, and sentimental fear of a 
judicious slap to rouse a spoiled child with no will to break, to 
make it keep step with the rest in conduct, instead of delaying 
a whole schoolroom to apply a subtle psychology of motive.' " ^ 

14. Regulation of Corporal Punishment. The reaction 
against corporal punishment, although doubtless carried 
too far, has accomplished one very desirable end : it has 
shown the necessity for curtailing the practice and for 
regulating it by sane restrictions. In practically all schools 
corporal punishment is much less prevalent than it was 
two decades ago, and, wherever it is inflicted, it is almost 
universally under strict prescription by explicit rulings as 
to the nature of the offense that can be met with this meas- 
ure, the time and method of administration, and the agent 
who inflicts it. The following summary is given as repre- 
senting a fair consensus of typical rules in force in a num- 
ber of city systems. 

{a) There should be a ''standard" method of inflict- 
ing corporal punishment. Blows upon the head, in the 
neighborhood of the spinal column, or near any vital 
organ should be rigidly prohibited.^ Just what cutaneous 

^ Cited by A. F. Chamberlain: The Child, London, 1900, pp. 388 f. 
2 " Shaking a child, striking him upon the head, slapping his face, 
boxing his ears, and similar means of inflicting physical pain are strictly 


area can be most effectively stimulated is a matter of 
differing opinion, as is also the particular instrument to be 
used. Many good teachers advise ''spanking" for young 
children, and there is much to recommend this traditional 
means of discipline. Upon those who have grown callous 
to the palm of the hand, a shingle may be profitably em- 
ployed, although it should be noted that some authorities 
object to any blows upon the buttocks as unhygienic — 
maintaining that they tend to cause congestion of the 
capillaries in the neighborhood of the genital organs, 
thereby giving rise to serious dangers. St. Louis ^ pre- 
scribes that corporal punishment "shall not be inflicted 
otherwise than by using a thin rattan upon the fleshy part 
of the back." La Crosse, Wis.,^ rules that corporal pun- 
ishment "shall be restricted to the use of a leather strap, 
preferably on the palm of the hand." A light "switch" 
(such as the birch of our grandfathers) applied around the 
legs is sometimes effective. Unyielding rods should not 
be used in any case, and it is always well to avoid anything 
that will leave a "welt," which, although it may look far 
more dangerous than it really is, is apt to cause trouble- 
some investigations. 

prohibited, and the Board will hold its teachers strictly responsible for 
any violation of this rule." — St. Louis Public Schools: Abstract from 
Rules and Regulations, Reg. 7, Sec. ii. 

"Striking the children on the mouth, on the ear, or on the head is 
strictly prohibited." — Chester, Pa. : Manual of the Public Schools, 
1904-1905, p. 61. 

^ Op. cit., p. 24. 

^ La Crosse, Wis. : Course of Study and Rules and Regulations, 1898, 
p. 81. 


15. (b) In a graded school it is customary for the prin- 
cipal to inflict all necessary corporal punishment. This 
is essentially a man's duty, except, perhaps, with children 
in the primary grades. Most ruHngs upon this matter 
prescribe either that the principal shall inflict the punish- 
ment in the presence of the classroom teacher or the 
teacher in the presence of the principal. In almost every 
case the principal's sanction is necessary before the teacher 
can inflict corporal punishment. 

The following citations will sufl&ciently indicate the pre- 
vailing practice in this regard : — 

"Teachers are charged under the principal with entire con- 
trol and discipline of their pupils and are held responsible 
for their conduct; but must not inflict corporal punishment 
except after consultation with and by permission of the prin- 
cipal." ^ 

"Teachers shall use kind and persuasive measures with their 
pupils, and should this fail, they shall report the case to the 
principal, who may inflict, or cause to be inflicted, such corporal 
punishment as he may think the case demands ; but no teacher 
or principal shall in any case, or under any pretense, punish 
children in the schools by striking or slapping on or about the 
head, or on the hand, or by shaking them violently. Corporal 
punishment shall not in any case be administered in the pres- 
ence of the school, but in the presence of the principal or super- 
intendent, or one or more teachers." ^ 

"Where corporal punishment is necessary, it must be ad- 
ministered by the teacher under the direction and supervision 

* Course of Study and Rules and Regulations, Public Schools of Duval 
County, Fla. (Jacksonville), 1902, p. 57. 

^ Fort Worth, Tex., Public Schools: Manual, 1904-1905, p. 15. 


of the principal of the school, or, where this is impossible, in 
the presence of another teacher." ^ 

"The authority to inflict corporal punishment is given to 
every teacher, but such punishment shall be inflicted only in 
the presence and with the sanction of the principal. Each 
teacher shall file with the superintendent, at the close of each 
month, a list of all cases of corporal punishment inflicted by 
said teacher during the month, giving date, name of pupil, and 
cause and extent of punishment." ^ 

16. (c) In view of the natural tendency of the child's 
mind to exaggerate or, at least, to distort actual occur- 
rences, it is well always to have an adult witness when 
punishment is inflicted. This is sometimes impracticable ; 
indeed, the fact that such punishment should be associated 
very closely with the act that occasioned it would fre- 
quently make the delay in securing witnesses inimical to 
the efficiency of the penalty. But in all cases from which 
outside interference is anticipated, witnesses should be 
secured. In such cases, also, every precaution should be 
taken to eliminate any conditions that might unjustly be 
turned against the teacher. For example, if a brittle rod 
is broken during the act of punishment, the very statement, 
"The teacher broke a stick over the child," has an ugly 
sound, and will surely tell against one in popular opinion, 
if not even in a court of law, although the blow itself 
may be quite innocuous.^ 

* Chester, Pa. : Mamml of the Public Schools, 1904-1905, p. 61. 
^ Bay City, Mich. : Manual of Public Schools, 1904, p. 203. 
^ For a digest of regulations in the larger cities, see Report of Com' 
missioner of Education, 1900, pp. 2578 ff. 



17. id) Most of the citations also prescribe that pun- 
ishment shall not be inflicted in the presence of other 
children. This is doubtless a wise provision, although it 
may be urged on the other side that an occasional pun- 
ishment inflicted before the class will have a preventive 
influence among other pupils. The benefits of such a 
practice must be balanced up against its disadvantages. 
An exhibition of the brute strength that a teacher can if 
necessary command may strike fear into the hearts of the 
witnesses, but it may also arouse a spirit of antagonism that 
will encourage others to court the penalty for sake of the 
accompanying martyrdom. In general, the practice is to 
be condemned on the same grounds that public executions 
are condemned; namely, because, in both cases, morbid 
interests are aroused that tend to brutalize the onlookers. 

18. {e) The general principles of child development 
would indicate that corporal punishment has its chief 
sphere during the formative period of the child's life 
(eight to twelve) ; but this rule, while holding in the main, 
is subject to some exceptions. Occasionally an adolescent 
is benefited by the apphcation of the rod, but experience 
in the classroom testifies that most cases of unfortunate 
results from corporal punishment originate in the pun- 
ishment of those who have passed puberty. It must be 
remembered that corporal punishment is an extreme 
measure to be resorted to only when a reasonable trial of 
more gentle methods fails in effect. It is generally agreed 
that "moral suasion" is not often effective with pupils in 
the formative stage of growth, but that it is very frequently 


effective with adolescents. It appeals solely to the "rea- 
son" and to the sentiments founded upon rather advanced 
judgment-products. If the pupil can be led to see why 
his misdemeanors cannot be permitted to continue, he 
will, if he is an average child, desist from their practice. It 
is at this point that corporal punishment or any form of 
extreme penalty becomes useless, and its appHcation beyond 
this point, while often practiced for the sake of "form," 
or for making an "example," should certainly not be 
countenanced. When an adolescent lacks adolescent char- 
acteristics, however, — when he fails to respond to reason, 
— corporal punishment is not only justified but demanded 
for the protection of the majority. 

19. Other Penalties, (a) Rebukes. Before resorting to 
corporal punishment the efficiency of other less strenuous 
penalties should in every case be tested. Lapses from 
order should first be met with severe (although not neces- 
sarily harsh) verbal reproval. This should be accom- 
panied by a fair warning that further lapses must result 
in a severer penalty. The great majority of children will 
respond effectively to a rebuke; it is only the small mi- 
nority that need anything more drastic. When a penalty 
has been promised, it should in every case be inflicted if the 
occasion arises. One of the worst habits in school mis- 
management is to tell a pupil that he must accept a cer- 
tain punishment for a misdemeanor and then "back 
down" from inflicting that punishment. A "suspended 
sentence" may sometimes be employed, but it is dangerous 
for the young teacher to practice this too often. 


20. (b) Loss oj Privileges, To deprive a pupil of a 
privilege is a legitimate and often effective penalty for 
offenses against discipline. It is for this reason that the 
monitorial system described in a former chapter is to be 
recommended, especially for those communities where 
corporal punishment is forbidden either by statute, by 
board ruling, or by pubHc opinion. Deprivation of 
a privilege is, however, often ineffective because the 
privilege is not prized by the pupil. Keeping *' after 
school" and ''keeping in" at recess soon lose their sting, 
and are further to be condemned as discipHnary measures 
on account of the extra service which they require of the 
teacher. No single pupil should be led to think that his 
misdemeanors will entitle him to a greater amount of 
attention from the teacher than the average well-behaved 
child can command. It is for this reason that disciplinary 
penalties should always be swift, certain, and as little 
wasteful of time as is possible under the conditions. 

21. (c) Suspensions. To suspend a pupil from school 
in order to secure the cooperation of his parents in his 
government is not to be looked upon as good practice 
except under abnormal conditions. School officers have 
legal authority over the child while he is within the school 
premises. They are paid to exercise this authority, not to 
evade the responsibiHty that it imposes. They are in loco 
parentis, and, legally, the parents themselves have no more 
power during this time than the teacher. If the former 
have more influence with the recalcitrant, the fault lies 
with the teacher, and the duty of government should not 


for this reason be placed upon the parents' shoulders. 
Moreover, the pupils who are most difficult to govern in 
school are usually those from whose homes the least help 
could be obtained. 

Occasionally a parent demands that all cases of discipline 
with reference to his children be referred to him before being 
acted upon by the school authorities. The writer has, once or 
twice, been informed that, if a child is to be punished, the 
parents withhold the right to inflict the penalty. He acceded 
willingly enough to this request on the first occasion, but the 
results were so disastrous to the discipline of the school that 
he has made it a rule since that time tactfully but firmly to 
insist upon parents' recognition of his legal status, unless, 
indeed, the parent is willing to inflict the punishment in his 
presence. He has explained that the teacher is always respon- 
sible to the law for the abuse of his power and that an injured 
party may, if he wishes, seek redress through the courts. He 
has also explained that such interference by the parent with the 
duties that rightfully belong to the teacher cannot fail to place 
the teacher inan unjust light in the eyes of his pupils and of the 
community at large. 

Far mor/^ disastrous, however, than the interference of parents 
is the officious meddling of boardsmen and others who may 
happen to have "influence." In such cases, there is but one 
alternative open to the true craftsman: either such interfer- 
ence must cease or he must resign instantly. It would be a 
bright day for the calling of Schoolcraft if all teachers could 
come to an absolute agreement upon this point. One who for 
a moment truckles to political influence in school work does 
incalculable harm to the cause of education. If craft ideals 
and standards are needed anywhere, it is surely at this point. 
There must be some things that a teacher will not do, no matter 
what the temptation, — no matter, even, if one's bread and 


butter depend entirely upon doing them. The physician would 
starve rather than be unfaithful to certain standards of his 
profession. He might gain wealth by such infidelity, but he 
would lose something that is far dearer to him than any amount 
of wealth; namely, professional standing. The same is 
true, although in lesser degree, of the lawyer. The members 
of these professions make their own standards, set up their own 
ideals. The general public very wisely keeps its hands off. 
This is the condition that should prevail in schoolcraft, and, 
until it does prevail, the work of education will never rank 
with other human callings requiring a like training of its novi- 

22. (d) Expulsions. To expel a pupil from school is 
the very last resort in cases of discipline. With even the 
worst offenders there is less danger to society in keeping 
them at school than in permitting them to run at large. 
Where parental schools are maintained for the reception 
of Such cases, there are occasions when the ordinary public 
school may wisely turn over to this special institution the 
cases that are relatively incorrigible by normal methods. 
But where parental schools are not provided, certainly no 
pupil not positively degenerate should be turned out into 
the street. This, of course, does not apply to older pupils 
who have passed the legal school age. Such individuals 
may be presumed to have attained a maturity that will 
render disciplinary measures unnecessary, and, if they 
fail to accommodate themselves to the requirements of 
the school, it is an injustice to the others to retain them. 

23. (e) Sending Pupils to the Principal. A large pro- 
portion of the classroom teachers in the city systems serve 


under supervising principals. This condition should make 
discipline rather simpler than where the classroom teacher 
is independent. The principal is usually a man, while 
the classroom teacher is almost invariably a woman. The 
natural division of labor would seem to indicate that the 
heavier tasks of discipline should devolve upon the male 
official, and many principals are chivalrous enough to 
take this view of the matter. They will support the class- 
room teacher with all the muscular force and all the in- 
fluence emanating from higher authority that each indi- 
vidual case demands. If the pupils respect the principal, 
they will dislike being sent to him for offenses against 
order, and in this simple measure the teacher can often 
solve the most troublesome problems. Not all principals 
will shoulder this responsibility, however. Some believe 
that it weakens the classroom teacher. Others are only 
too glad to leave the *' heavy work" to the women. In 
any case, a teacher's reputation and standing will be 
lowered if the practice is indulged too frequently. The 
yoimg teacher who tries this remedy several times and 
finds it ineffective may safely come to the conclusion that 
other measures are demanded. 

The most reliable source of data concerning punishment of 
school children must always be the experience of the teach- 
ers who are in closest touch with the problems of discipline. 
The following propositions are taken from a report^ which 
represents a consensus of the experience of about ©ne hundred 
successful teachers in Rhode Island. 

^ " Report on Syllabus concerning School Punishment and Penalties," 
20h Anntial Report, State Board of Education, Rhode Island, 1899. 


(i) The classroom teacher should administer punishment 
for classroom offenses. 

(2) Little time should elapse between the misdemeanor and 
the punishment. 

(3) Children should not be punished in the presence of 
other children. 

(4) Children should not be punished by one who is labor- 
ing under the emotion of anger. 

(5) Intentional, willful, and premeditated offenses should 
be punished. 

(6) Repeated offenses should be punished. 

(7) Offenses not apt to be repeated should not be punished. 

(8) Not all children require the same punishment for the 
same offense. 

(9) Children should always clearly understand why they 
are punished. 

(10) Punishments tend to reform the pupil if he sees their 

(11) Suspension should be the last resort. 

(12) Punishment should not be used for the sake of " mak- 
ing an example.'* 

(13) Sarcasm, ridicule, and satire should not be used as 

(14) The majority of parents who are consulted favor cor- 
poral punishment. 

(15) Tasks should not be employed as punishments. 

References. — Tompkins.: Philosophy of School Management, 
pp. 1 70-181 ; J. S. Taylor: Class Management and Discipline, eh. v; 
Kellogg: School Management, ch. viii; Seeley: School Manage- 
ment, eh. viii; J. A. H. Keith: Elementary Education, Chicago, 
1905, pp. ii9-i33» 288. 



The Problem of Attention 

I. It has been attempted in the preceding chapters to 
indicate the various points at which an appHcation of the 
law of habit-building may serve to prevent waste in the 
educative process as applied to children dealt with in the 
mass. In a well-organized classroom the matters already 
mentioned will take care of themselves ; and the first aim 
of the classroom teacher should be to reduce to the plane 
of routine or group-habit all of the necessary details that 
can profitably be cared for in this way. The problems of 
management, however, do not end with this reduction of 
detail to automatic routine. Even in the classroom that 
is best organized the teacher must constantly meet new 
questions that arise with regard to the main problem of 
our discussion. The effective treatment of pupils in the 
mass must, in other words, always involve judgment; it 
can never be reduced entirely to the machine basis. 

The problem of Part II, therefore, is to consider the 
general principles, standards, or ideals that should govern 
the teacher in the non-routine phases of his work. As in 



Part I, the question is still, at basis, a question of economy: 
How can class work be made to return the largest possible 
dividend on a practicable investment of time, energy, and 
money ? 

2. Beyond doubt the greatest source of waste in the work 
of education results from the difficulty encountered in 
securing and holding the attention of all pupils to the 
subject-matter of instruction. The problem is complex 
and difficult, and its solution involves the balancing of a 
multitude of diverse factors. Simply to secure attention, 
simply to hold attention — if these were the only factors, 
the situation would be somewhat simpHfied. But here, 
perhaps, more than anywhere else, the methods that are 
employed to insure economy in school work must be sub- 
jected to the rigorous test of the ultimate end of education, 
for they involve the operation of educative forces that are 
as fundamental as the subject-matter of instruction itself. 

3. The first step in the solution of this problem is to 
inquire of the psychologist what laws govern attention. 
Every one knows that some things are easily attended to, 
and that other things are attended to with great difficulty. 
Every one also knows that the things attended to with 
difficulty are often the things that are most essential for 
one to attend to. These are facts of common knowledge. 

Psychology attempts to go further than this — it tries 
to classify the things that attract attention easily and to 
find out just why they do so. It tries also to classify the 
things that are difficult to attend to, and to discover the 
reason for this difficulty. Various bases have been adopted 


for these classifications, and not all psychologists are yet 
agreed as to the best basis. The following discussion will 
adopt what may be called the biological point of view as 
offering the most satisfactory explanation of the phenomena 
of attention as appHed in schoolroom practice. 

4. The Doctrine of Ends. From the biological point of 
view it is clear that attention must bear some direct rela- 
tion to the needs of the organism. We attend to certain 
things primarily because they are, in one fashion or 
another, essential to our well-being. We are not always 
conscious of these needs; one, for instance, may attend 
to a flash of light, or to a sharp pain, or to a moving object, 
for no conscious reason save that the stimulus, as we say, 
*' catches the attention." But why are we so constituted 
that we attend to these things? The real reason must 
be sought in race history. When our ancestors lived 
imder very primitive conditions, as they did for thousands 
of generations, it was absolutely essential to the existence 
of the organism that it be able to note any marked dis- 
turbance in its environment. Survival under primitive 
conditions was conditioned absolutely upon the instinctive 
tendencies to attend to all stimuli that could, in any marked 
degree, become danger signals. 

All of our instincts, then, — all of those complex adjust- 
ments with which nature has provided us, — become cor- 
relates, on the mental or conscious side, of what may be 
termed tendencies to attend — tendencies to hold conscious- 
ness open and receptive to whatever impressions may fit 
in with the instinct. Thus, the instinctive need to note 


the presence of moving objects in the environment is 
correlated with a law of attention : movement anywhere 
within the range of the field of vision will ''draw the eyes" 
in that direction — will attract our notice. When the 
cravings of hunger affect us, anything that will satisfy 
these cravings attracts our attention. Our minds are, as 
it were, keyed or attuned to these various sorts of stimuli 
by the tension of the instinct that is functioning at the 

It will be noted that attention in all these cases is de- 
termined by an immediate end, and that this end is the 
satisfaction of the organic need which is instinctively felt. 
Action based upon attention of this sort does not look into 
the future, it takes no account of any remote consequences. 
Furthermore its expression is, so far as the individual is 
concerned, purely selfish. It may, it is true, have social 
or altruistic impUcations, as in the case of the mothering 
instinct, but in so far as the direct reaction upon the 
individual is concerned, it satisfies an immediate, organic, 
innate, instinctive need. 

It is clearly evident that this law of attention can be 
applied effectively to improving the appHcation of pupils 
to the tasks that are set for their accomplishment. If an 
instinctive need can be appealed to, the result will be sure 
and certain. This may be called the "First Law," or the 
"Law of Primary Passive Attention," and its operation 
will be treated in detail in a later section. 

5. The Second Law. The operation of the first law is 
quite independent of any conscious end or purpose save 


the immediate satisfaction of an instinctive or organic 
need. It is distinctively the law of the lower types of 
mind. No animal below the rank of man ever rises very 
far above its operation. It is the essential prerogative of 
the human mind, however, to **look ahead," to project 
itself into the future, to construct in imagination an idea 
of what this future will bring forth or demand, and then 
to adapt its adjustments to the end thus previewed. The 
fundamental importance of this capacity to human de- 
velopment can never be overestimated. It stands as the 
prime factor in human evolution. It is the significant 
characteristic of Homo sapiens, for thinking — reasoning 

— is nothing more nor less than this constructive activity 
of the human mind. 

What does this mean in terms of attention? Simply 
this, that whenever attention is determined by an end 
that is consciously beyond the needs of the moment, — 
whenever present desires and impulses are inhibited or 
suppressed for the sake of some remote end to be gained, 

— a struggle is inevitable between the thing that one de- 
sires to attend to and the thing that one knows one should 
attend to. It is clear that, in general, the nearer the end, 
the more likelihood that it will conquer the momentary 
impulse. It is also clear that, the more vivid the image 
of the end to be reached, the more HkeHhood that the 
momentary impulse will be defeated. Likewise, the more 
highly the end is tinged with desire or positive emotional 
force, again the greater HkeHhood that it will be victorious 
in its struggles. All of these principles are simple corol- 


laries of the general law; they are practically axiomatic; 
and yet it is safe to say that no principles so fundamental 
as these have been so woefully neglected in educational 

Because of this struggle between the impulse of the 
moment and the idea of a remote end that may be gained 
by suppressing this impulse, this variety of attention is 
known as " active," and the principle governing its 
operation may be conveniently referred to as the "Second 
Law" of attention. 

One or two concrete instances will suggest to the reader a 
number of personal experiences that will tend to bear out the 
above statements. The effort essential to ''get down" to 
work, unless forced by some immediate need or impelled through 
the operation of habit (which, however, involves an element 
yet to be discussed), is typical of the struggle between the 
end and the impulse. Impulse always makes for variety and 
abhors monotony, but monotony is often necessary to reach 
some remote end. One is ambitious, for example, to become a 
musician. The start is made valiantly enough, the bright pic- 
ture of future honors and adulation being sufl&cient to keep one 
to the routine and discipline of the preparatory process for some 
little time. Sooner or later, however, the monotony becomes 
irksome, and the intense desire to have done with it all and be 
off "on another tack" is apt to take complete possession of one's 
mind. In case the triumph is complete, — as it is in the sad 
majority of cases, — the change is made, the discipline lapses 
by degrees, and is finally abandoned altogether, and the ambi- 
tion that once burnt so brightly dies away. Hence arises the 
necessity in all branches of education to present as an incen- 
tive to effort, not only one remote end, but all sorts of inter- 


mediate ends, the approach and attainment of which shall keep 
the worker at his task until finally the daily discipline of toil 
becomes a matter of habit, and the remote end is constantly 
approached without undue struggle, and perhaps drops entirely 
out of consciousness. 

In the work of the schoolroom, the principle finds application 
in a multitude of devices, some of which will be discussed in a 
later section. The grading and promoting system may serve 
as an illustration in the present connection. The remote end 
of education is far too distant and abstract a conception for 
even fairly mature students to grasp, much less little children 
in the early stages of the process. For this reason a series of 
ends, less remote, must be introduced, and this gives rise to 
the grading system with its attendant examinations and pro- 
motions. Each step in the attainment of the remote end is 
terminated by some sort of test as to the character of the work 
done during the step, and this test will act, under the proper 
conditions, as an incentive to effort in the pupils. At the out- 
set the steps are short, for the end cannot be too remote, else 
it will lose its effectiveness as an incentive. As the pupil 
develops, the end is placed at a point farther and farther away, 
until, in the graduate courses of the university, a period of 
three years may lapse before the student is subjected to an 

6. The Third Law. In the preceding discussion it has 
been assumed that the kind of attention termed "active" 
always operates against some impulse or instinctive ten- 
dency. If such is the case, what shall we call that form of 
attention that is given freely and vdthout effort to an 
activity that makes for a remote end and still does not 
" fit in " with an instinctive tendency ? It is obvious enough 
that one comes to enjoy one's work; that one finds no 


difficulty whatsoever in following a line of activity that 
makes unerringly for an end that one has previewed. 
The explanation is to be found in an extension of the law 
of habit. We become habituated in course of time to 
almost anything that we persevere in, no matter how dis- 
agreeable that thing may have been at the outset. That 
is, the inhibition of distracting impulses becomes a habit, 
becomes unconscious. This sort of attention is termed 
"secondary passive," and the principle that governs its 
operation may be called the "Third Law'' of attention. 

This must not be construed as meaning that attention be- 
comes a habit. Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a 
"habit of attention." Habit and attention are the two ex- 
tremes of mental life. One may, however, habitually assume 
the attitude of attention, and one may habitually repress im- 
pulses that are inconsistent with attention, or habitually resist 
temptations which distract. It is only in this sense that a 
"habit of attention" means anything whatsoever. 

This secondary passive attention might be called the 
terminus ad quern of the teacher's work. When the pupil 
has reached this stage, all that he needs is direction and 
suggestion. Prior to this time his effort must be incited 
by one form of stimulus or another; after this time, his 
effort is given freely : all that now needs to be done is to 
see to it that this effort is expended profitably and econom- 
ically. The successful teacher is he who can get his pupils 
into this stage most effectively. The ideal school (which 
can probably never be reaUzed in practice) is one in which 
every pupil works for the joy that the working brings him. 


Needless to say, the problem that pedagogy is concerned 
with lies not so much in the operation of the third law as 
in the operation of the first and second laws. The effort 
of educational theory is to find some means of applying 
the first and second laws in such a fashion that the con- 
ditions demanded for the successful operation of the 
third law may be fulfilled. Too many treatises on teach- 
ing start with secondary passive attention. They assume 
that the effort of the pupils will be given freely in any 
desired direction. This is a simple case of begging the 

Most authorities upon pedagogy and school management, 
for example, speak of interest in one's work as an incentive to 
effort; but interest in work for its own sake is not at all akin to 
an interest that attaches to a remote end, toward the attain- 
ment of which the work or effort is but a means. The very 
common advice given as a sort of blanket precept to insure suc- 
cess in teaching — ''Make the work interesting" — is about 
as futile and ineffective as the dictum discussed above, — "Keep 
the pupils busy." Every teacher knows that the thing to do 
is to make the work interesting; the point where advice is 
needed is not what to do, but how to do it. There are many 
tasks involved in education that are not intrinsically interesting. 
Sometimes, however, after effort has been initiated and sus- 
tained by means of a powerful incentive, the task gradually 
becomes fascinating in itself. The incentive may now very 
well be forgotten, for its utility is at an end. 

7. It will be necessary in the present discussion to leave 
the treatment of the third law at this point, and to devote 
our time and energy to the first two laws. These will 


accordingly be treated in some detail in the two following 
chapters. It should always be borne in mind, however, — 
even if not always explicitly stated, — that the third law 
must come to operate if the school is to accomplish its 
work with a minimum of waste. 

References. — J. R. Angell: Psychology, New York, 1906, 
pp. 64-76; E. B. Titchener: Primer of Psychology, New York, 1899, 
ch. v; H. H. Home: The Psychological Principles of Education, 
New York, 1906, ch. xxviii; W. C. Bagley: The Educative Process, 
ch. vi. 


The Problem of Attention (Continued) : The 
Operation of the First Law 

1. The first law represents the activity of attention at 
its lowest level of development. I'rimary passive atten- 
tion is determined solely by instinct. If any end is con- 
sciously in view, it is simply the immediate gratification of 
an instinctive desire. The problem of the present chapter, 
therefore, is to inquire into the operation of those instincts 
that can be utilized in schoolroom practice to secure atten- 
tion of the passive order. 

2. (a) The Instinctive Desire for Change and Variety. 
This is the most general expression of the first law. The 
desire for change and variety is instinctive in all human 
beings irrespective of age or degree of culture. Other 
instincts may be outgrown entirely or so greatly subdued 
that the accompanying desires never become a source of 
trouble, but this fundamental instinct seems too deeply 
planted ever completely to be eradicated. It is true that 
custom and habit work toward stabiHty of habitat and 
occupation. The older one grows, the less one likes the 
thought of moving to another locality or of taking up 
another line of work ; the less one likes, also, to have one's 
routine of life interfered with in any way. But, notwith- 
standing these undoubted facts, it still remains true that 



variety of stimulation is the first condition of an alert 
mind. One must be almost abnormal who is not tempted 
by the prospective delights of a journey to new regions; 
who is not attracted by the ''news" page of his daily paper, 
irrespective of the bearing of its contents upon his own life 
or work; whose attention is not caught and held by the 
novel and unusual in the routine of his daily Ufe. The 
instinct that impels us to seek variety, to attend to the new 
and strange, is a wise provision of nature, for it is through 
this instinct that attention to new or changed conditions 
is insured, and it is the one important junction 0} attention 
to concern itself with the new, leaving habit, custom, and 
automatism to take care of the old and familiar. 

3. It is obvious that the child is more completely the 
slave of distracting influences than is the adult, and that 
the younger the child, the more pronounced is this char- 
acteristic. The pupil in the lowest grades of the school 
is quite incapable of following a single Hne of e£fort, 
either in play or in work, for a long period. One who 
watches children at play will be quickly impressed by the 
rapidity with which one game or activity gives way to 
another. At one moment the child seems to be absorbed 
in a certain play object. As you watch him, you think 
that so deep an interest will last indefinitely. But in 
another moment, perhaps, this object has been dropped 
and another taken up, and, try as you will, you cannot force 
the interest back to the first object that attracted it. 

It is necessary for the educator to recognize this funda- 
mental fact at all stages of the educative process. Variety 


must be constantly introduced in some form or another 
if the energy that expresses itself through the activity of 
attention is to be expended economically. The successful 
teacher in the elementary school is he who can clothe the 
familiar in a new garb; for repetition and reiteration 
are essential at all points of the teaching process, and, 
unless repetition and reiteration can be robbed of their 
monotony, they lose by far the greater part of their effi- 

4. The operation of the first law in this phase of its 
apphcation, however, involves a danger that should not 
be overlooked or minimized. Although attention may be 
secured by changing the occupation of the pupil the 
moment tedium sets in, the net result, if such a poUcy were 
applied ad libitum^ would be far worse than any loss of 
energy that might come from the inattention due to tedium. 
If a pupil is always reheved of a task of duty the moment 
that it becomes irksome to him, — the moment that he 
grows "tired'* of it, — • development is bound to be arrested 
upon a very primitive plane. To stick to one Hne of efifort 
in spite of tedium is the characteristic that differentiates 
work from play; education is essentially work, and the 
school must never blind itself to the necessity of requiring 
the conditions of work in the environment that it affords. 
Here, as elsewhere, there must be a nice adjustment of 
opposing forces. The first law of attention will certainly 
find frequent employment through the satisfaction of the 
desire for variety; but its field will manifestly be much 
wider in the earHer than in the later stages of the educative 


process, and at all times the law must be applied with a 
full recognition on the part of the teacher of the dangers 
that it involves. 

No small part of the criticism passed by foreigners upon 
American schools finds its justification in the fact that American 
teachers recognize the necessity of variety, but neglect its dan- 
gers. The result of such practice is haphazard, ** scatter- 
brained" effort, devoted to a multitude of diverse tasks, but 
never sustained and directed toward the complete accomplish- 
ment of any one line of work. The "formal" subjects of the 
curriculum — reading, spelling, penmanship, arithmetic — 
naturally suffer most seriously from this oversight. The notion 
that monotony must be avoided at any cost has led to the 
attempt to teach these branches "incidentally" in connection 
with more interesting and attractive "content" work. The 
results are what one who was well grounded in fundamental 
psychological principles might easily have foreseen. 

The problem here presented is difficult but not impossible 
of solution. There must needs be variety in the drill required 
for the mastery of the formal subjects, but this variety must 
always respect the fundamental nature of the form that is to 
be impressed. So long as this is done, no harm will result, but 
when variety and interest become ends in themselves, — when 
content work of all kinds becomes the only explicit subject of 
instruction, — elementary education misses its main purpose. 

5. (b) The Play Instinct. This may be looked upon 
as but a specific expression of the instinctive desire for 
change and variety. Play is characterized by activity 
which is sufficient in and for itself ; the activity of play is 
an end in itself. The play instinct doubtless has a deep 
and vital function in the development of the child, insuring 


the activity essential to the growth and coordination of the 
muscles and to the development of motor or kinaesthetic 
images.^ The play instinct is largely used in kindergarten 
practice as a simple and effective means of securing and 
holding the pupil's attention. It has also a legitimate 
field of application in the lower grades of the elementary 
school, where the repetition that is essential in the learning 
of arithmetical facts, word-forms, and the Hke can be made 
more interesting by employing "games." 

6. The use of this instinct is obviously subject to the 
dangers and limitations mentioned in connection with the 
instinctive desire for variety. If carried too far, the pupil 
is apt to gain the notion that all of the routine work of the 
school must be made interesting and attractive by the intro- 
duction of the play element. The powerful ideal of duty, 
which carries men safely through so many crises, cannot be 
developed under such conditions, and it is safe to say 
that no more important task is imposed upon education 
than to develop this ideal. But one should not rush to 
the other extreme and aver that the play instinct is entirely 
out of place in the school. Again there must be a nice 
adjustment of forces; again one must strive to hold the 
clear perspective. An environment of irksome tasks, un- 
reHeved by anything that could gratify the play instinct, 
would be as fatal to the ideal of duty as an environment 
that gratified instinct at every turn. 

What is termed common sense may be very safely trusted in 
determining the limitations to which the play instinct must be 
* Cf . G. S. Hall : Adolescence, New York, 1904, vol. i, pp. 202 fif. 


subjected. The writer once heard an institute instructor recom- 
mend a certain game with bean-bags for use in drills on the 
facts of multiplication. The teachers who were present agreed 
with the instructor as to the value of the device, believing 
it to be recommended for very young children only. But 
when the instructor intimated that it could be profitably util- 
ized in the seventh and eighth grades, the teachers questioned 
its value. The great majority of those who have had actual 
experience in handling children know pretty accurately what 
can be done with them, although even such teachers will some- 
times "lose their heads*' when a new and radical departure is 
proposed by one high in authority and presented with the zeal 
and earnestness of assured conviction. It is for this reason 
that the university professor of education is apt to do so much 
harm if he lacks practical experience in dealing with little 
children. He speaks with the voice of authority, and he gen- 
erally believes implicitly in the absolute vahdity of his untried 

7. (c) The Instinct of Curiosity. Like the instinct of 
play, this is but a specific expression of the desire fornovelty. 
It is evidenced by the constant succession of *' Why's" 
with which children of certain ages besiege their parents 
and teachers, and by the ''Paul Pry" activities of both 
children and adults. Like all instincts, it has its roots in 
past necessity. The first manifestation of dawning in- 
telligence in the race was doubtless the random investi- 
gations that followed upon the birth of the instinct of 
curiosity. In the beginning this instinct is easily gratified, 
for primitive curiosity looks only for something new, and 
anything that is new suffices. The search after hidden 
causes, the passion to know the reason for phenomena, is 


an acquired characteristic formed through the operation 
of active attention in carrying to a successful issue the 
vague desires aroused by the instinct. 

The instinct of curiosity has a place in education. It 
can be utiUzed in directing attention to natural laws that 
explain phenomena whose mystery appeals to the child- 
mind, — spectacular phenomena especially, Hke the thun- 
derstorm, the earthquake, etc. It is safe to lay down the 
rule that, whenever curiosity is aroused concerning some- 
thing of legitimate interest, the teacher should do every- 
thing within his power to gratify it. Attention can at that 
time be easily secured, and truths driven home that might 
prove highly resistant if left until a later period. 

A great calamity, like the California earthquake or the 
Galveston flood, that attracts universal attention for a brief 
period, opens the way for the explanation of the catastrophe in 
terms of natural law. At such a time all children are open 
and receptive to whatever instruction may be offered that is 
germane to the center of interest. It is strict economy to make 
such discussion a special order of the day, interrupting the 
program, if necessary, in order to get from the burning interest 
of the moment every particle of educative value that can be 
extracted. Legitimate occasions of this sort come so infre- 
quently that one need fear no serious effect upon the regular 
routine. In the writer's experience, for example, only the fol- 
lowing events within the past five years have been deemed 
worthy of such treatment; the Pelee disaster, the Baltimore 
fire (a center of interest insuring the ready assimilation of 
geographical facts about that city), the outbreak of the Russo- 
Japan War, and the San Francisco earthquake. Matters that 
are of less general interest, owing to the remoteness of the scene 


of action or other causes, — for example, the eruptions of 
Vesuvius, the Valparaiso earthquake, and the Hong Kong 
typhoon, — may be profitably referred to in the geography 
classes, but will hardly repay a special order of business or a 
breaking into the regular program. 

8. Inasmuch as the instinct of curiosity is mainly excited 
by the spectacular, it is clear that its use in the school should 
be temperate. Of course, a spectacular halo may be 
thrown around almost any event, but such a policy will 
sooner or later defeat its own purpose: witness, for ex- 
ample, the experience of the "yellow" newspapers in 
attempting to find a new sensation for each issue. Their 
cries of ''Wolf!" have been proved so often to be bogus 
that the public will no longer heed them, even though the 
wolf should happen at some time to be real. There is back 
of this a sound psychology that operates with equal force 
in the schoolroom. The teacher who constantly caters to 
the pupils' love of the spectacular must go to greater and 
greater lengths if he would attract the attention of his 
pupils, and the time must come, sooner or later, when his 
hlasi charges will be bored even by matters of legitimate 

9. {d) The Instinctive Liking for Bright Colors^ Sharp 
Contrasts^ and Intense Stimuli 0} All Kinds. One of the 
most primitive methods of attracting attention is the use 
of bright colors. This instinct is commonly employed in 
the lower grades of the school by the use of colored ob- 
jects (balls, splints, etc.), by permitting pupils to write 
and draw with colored crayon, and by other similar prac- 


tices. The use of colors and contrasts, however, for the 
purpose of securing attention to drill processes is subject 
to a very important limitation. It has been long known 
that in teaching children to count, the objects used must 
not be too attractive in themselves. Variety must be pro- 
vided, but the quaUties of the various objects must be of 
such a nature that they will not distract the attention from 
the process in hand. 

In their anxiety to provide a variety of objects for drill in 
counting and in combining numbers, some teachers select 
flowers that are brightly colored, cubes and balls of contrasting 
hues, and not infrequently edible articles such as nuts and 
fruits. If the reader is skeptical as to the distracting influence 
of these qualities that are extraneous to the matter in hand, let 
him watch an exercise, say, in counting peanuts just prior to 
the noon dismissal. 

lo. (e) The Instinct of Construction. The child Hkes to 
put things together, to make things, and this instinct is oi 
the highest value in the lower grades in securing attention 
to arithmetical processes. The constructive instinct must 
not be confused, however, with the acquired interest of 
construction ^ which is a much higher product, and works 
through a series of systematic efiforts toward the accom- 
pUshment of some remote end. The pure primitive instinct 
is best illustrated by the child's rather aimless manipula- 
tion of blocks in the making of whatever may be dictated 
by^momentary fancy. It can be turned to educative account 
by leading the pupil to count the number of blocks that 

* Cf. Ediicaiive Process, pp. io6 flf. 


he uses for this purpose or that, by encouraging com- 
parisons of different magnitudes, and by suggesting pos- 
sible numerical combinations; for example, "Let us make 
a wall that will be three inches high and twelves inches 
long," using inch cubes; "Make the picture of a house 
with splints, having the house ten splints long and one 
half as high, with three windows in the side" ; etc. 

11. The instincts discussed above do not exhaust the 
list of those that function during childhood and which 
form the basis for the manifold operations of the first law. 
They are, however, the principal instincts with which the 
school is concerned from the standpoint of passive atten- 
tion. In the next chapter, other instincts will be discussed 
that operate in a slightly different fashion. But it must be 
borne in mind that all instincts have this in common : they 
are native, inherited forces, forming the basis upon which 
the educative process must lay its foundations. Those 
that have just been discussed operate educatively through 
securing passive attention to mechanical repetition. Those 
that will be discussed in the next chapter may express 
themselves, it is true, in attention of the passive order; 
but they are educationally important in that they may be 
readily transformed into incentives for active attention; 
in other words, the anticipated gratification of the instinct 
forms a remote end toward which effort may be directed 
as a necessary condition of this gratification. 

12. Summary. The first law is to be used extensively 
only in the earliest stages of education. Here the teacher*s 
first duty is to provide conditions that will make effort 


attractive. This duty is partially fulfilled by frequent 
changes in the content of the school exercises, by utiHzing 
the play instinct, by a judicious use of intense and con- 
trasting stimuH, and by encouraging the pupil to employ 
his constructive instinct in an educative manner. These 
means are always in place during the early school years. 
They may occasionally be employed in the later stages 
of instruction, and with abnormally backward children 
(feeble-minded children and imbeciles) it is doubtful 
whether they can ever be entirely dispensed with. To 
continue with them, however, in the education of normal 
children is to run a serious danger of arrested develop- 

References. — J. R. Angell : Psychology, New York, 1905, ch. xvi ; 
Irving King: Psychology of Child Development, Chicago, 1903, 
ch. xiii ; Thomdike : Principles of Teaching, chs. v, viii ; Kirkpatrick : 
Fundamentals of Child Study, New York, 1906, chs. viii-x; W. James: 
Talks to Teachers, New York, 1902, ch. vii. 


The Problem of Attention (Continued) : The 
Operation of the Second Law; Incentives 

I. The essence of active attention is concentration upon 
matters that are not in themselves attractive, — that do 
not in themselves naturally solicit attention, — for the 
sake of some desired end, the attainment of which 
such focaUzation will further. It should be remembered 
that active attention does not preclude the operation of 
instinct; in fact, probably all operation of active atten- 
tion is dependent primarily though indirectly upon some 
instinctive desire. Instinct is the force that makes the 
idea of the remote end effective in controlHng action along 
a given line until one either gains the end sought, or 
lapses into secondary passive attention in which the means 
of attaining the end become attractive and interesting in 

For example, the pupil is attracted to bright colors because 
of the instinctive impulse to attend to strong or contrasting 
stimuli. The end here is immediate, the attention passive. 
On the other hand, the pupil may, by effort, attend to a dull 
lesson, because he does not wish a fellow-pupil to "win out" 
over him in a recitation. The end here is remote, but it is 
made effective by the instinct of emulation. Instinct operates 
in the one case just as clearly as in the other; but in the second 



instance it operates on a higher plane, because the end has been 
moved into the future, a process of ideal or imaginative con- 
struction is demanded for its envisagement, and action or 
adjustment must be controlled with reference to the end 

Almost every case of willed or volitional action is similarly- 
determined in the last analysis by one instinct or another. 
The student at college prosecutes his studies industriously, even 
though they are not perhaps always interesting; he is held to 
the task because he does not wish to let others get the degree 
when he fails (instinct of emulation), or because he wishes 
to secure remunerative employment because of his training 
(instinct of self-preservation), or because he wishes to avoid the 
unpleasant consequences of failure (instinct of fear). Similar 
analyses could be made of dominant motives in any walk of 
life; always, however, with this proviso: whenever the task 
becomes attractive in itself and the remote end is lost sight of 
temporarily, the attention has passed over into the secondary 
passive form. Thus the student, driven to his work by one of 
these various ideals that are supported in their turn by funda- 
mental instincts, becomes gradually absorbed in his study and 
no longer thinks either of the fellow-students whom he is try- 
ing to outdo, of the position that he has hoped to obtain, or 
of the unpleasantness that may result from failure. But when- 
ever this secondary passive attention lags, — whenever primi- 
tive impulse again asserts its inherited right to distract, — the 
idea, backed up by its appropriate instinct, must act again as a 
spur to renewed effort. 

2. Incentives. The idea of a remote end toward which 
effort is to be organized is known as an incentive. With 
certain qualifications, the problem of securing and hold- 
ing the attention of pupils may be said to be the problem 


of providing effective incentives. The first law is legiti- 
mately applied only up to the point where an effective 
incentive can be introduced — up to the point where a 
remote end can be made to dominate the pupil's mind 
and hold him to whatever tasks are imposed as a con- 
dition of attaining this end. 

This point is approximately coincident with the birth of 
what is termed the capacity of the child for reasoning. Reason- 
ing, in its simplest form, is nothing more nor less than a con- 
scious application of past experience to a given situation. 
Logical reasoning, however, is more complicated in its nature. 
It presupposes the ability to condense past experience into con- 
cepts, and to manipulate these concepts through symbols, — 
usually words. An end that is fairly remote in its nature must 
be held before mind in a compact form if it is to be effective 
over action, hence the conditions imposed by active attention 
of a high order are quite similar to those imposed by logical 
reasoning. But active attention is possible in cases where the 
experience has not been condensed into concepts, but still 
functions concretely. This form of attention, however, is 
directed to ends that are not very remote. As the pupil in- 
creases in the capacity to form concepts, therefore his capacity 
also increases for holding in mind ends that are further and 
further removed from the present impulse. 

Just where this capacity is to be attributed to the pupil in 
school is a matter of dispute. Some practitioners would as- 
sume that the child is capable of governing his action with 
reference to remote ends immediately upon entering school, 
but this is manifestly not in accord with practical schoolroom 
experience. It is probable, however, that, if a beginning is 
made with incentives that appeal to fairly immediate ends, and 
if a gradual progression is insured, the pupil should be able in 


the third or fourth grades to realize the import of putting forth 
effort during the term in order that he may make a satisfactory 
grade at the term's close. This also suggests the importance 
of having relatively short terms in the earlier years of the 
elementary school. 

3. Positive and Negative Incentives} A remote end 
may make either a positive or a negative appeal to one^s 
desires. In the former case, action is governed and 
directed for the purpose of enjoying some pleasant conse- 
quences; in the latter case, action is controlled for the 
purpose of avoiding some unpleasant consequences. In 
other words, incentives may be divided into (i) those that 
depend for their efficacy upon the hope of a reward, and 
(2) those that depend upon fear of punishment. Needless 
to say, one and the same object sought may make its 
appeal either from the positive or negative side. Further 

^ White's Classification of Incentives. In his treatise on school man- 
agement, Mr. White makes a distinction between " natural" and "artifi- 
cial" incentives. Under the former head, he includes those incentives 
that grow "naturally" out of the effort involved. Thus the perception 
of a distinct need for knowing arithmetic would be the natural incentive 
for studying and mastering arithmetic. These natural incentives are, of 
course, the most effective whenever it is possible to employ them. It is 
one of the peculiar duties of education, however, to impart knowledge at 
a period in the individual's life when he is unable to see very far ahead. 
The knowledge that is imparted, on the other hand, generally owes its 
value to the fact that it will be useful in adult life. For this reason 
natural incentives can be employed very infrequently. Mr. White's 
theory is also defective in that many of the incentives that he classes as 
"natural" are really "artificial" by his own definition, while others are 
not incentives at all, but rather acquired interests that owe their eflSciency 
to the operation of the third law. When, for example, he speaks of the 
love of knowledge as an incentive, this is either an acquired interest or an 
ideal of a very elaborate type. 


than this, one and the same object may appeal to the same 
individual now from this and now from that point of view. 
The pupil may be impelled to learn a dull lesson in hope 
of "getting ahead" of his fellow-pupils, or he may learn 
the same lesson from fear that his fellow-pupils may "get 
ahead" of him, and the consciousness of the end to be 
gained may alternate rapidly between these two desires. 
Back of every hope there is a complementary fear, and 
back of every fear, a complementary hope. 

4. These facts involve one of the most important prac- 
tical principles in school management. In general, incen- 
tives should appeal to the pupil from the positive rather than 
jrom the negative point 0} view. This principle depends 
for its validity, not upon mere sentiment alone, but upon 
the rigid requirements of economy. It is only a practical 
expression of the well-known psychological law that de- 
pression chokes up the channels of energy, while hope and 
buoyancy tend to liberate energy and make it available. 
It is the verdict of experience that one can put forth more 
energy and do more effective work if the confidence of 
success overbalances the fear of failure. 

This general rule is certainly subject to some qualifications. 
The fear that amounts to desperation sometimes impels one 
to put forth almost superhuman effort. But, in this case, it is 
seriously to be doubted whether the so-called "fear" of despera- 
tion is really deserving of that name. Its keynote is exhilara- 
tion rather than depression; it has passed beyond the pale of 
a distinctly unpleasant emotion, and so should be characterized 
by another and more appropriate term. Recent theories of 
emotion advanced by competent psychologists are quite in 


accord with this view.^ In general, then, fear expresses itself 
in less violent forms, — moodiness, lack of confidence, dissatis- 
faction with one's self, etc., — and these are all depressing 

5. It is not to be concluded, however, that the negative 
incentives have no place in education. In extreme cases, 
where all other measures appear to be futile, the fear of 
failure, or of physical pain, or of the loss of a privilege, 
may be the only available means of possible redemption, 
and as such its employment is undoubtedly justified. It 
is safe to lay down the rule, however, that, if fear is stimu- 
lated, it should be limited to individual cases. In other 
words, the great majority of pupils will not need an extreme 
incentive, and to use the stimulus of fear upon an entire 
class is to run the risk of needless worry on the part of 
pupils who do not need to worry, and to whom, perhaps, 
worry would involve a nervous strain that would quite 
discount any positive benefits to be derived. This limi- 
tation in mind, we may pass to the specific consideration 
of the fear incentives. 

6. Incentives in which the Predominant Appeal is 
Negative. Under this head are to be included, obviously, 
aU school practices that inflict punishment for failure to 
perform some school task. In Chapter VIII, punish- 
ments were discussed, but in another connection, — namely, 
as means of securing order in the classroom. The point 
of departure there was the necessity for preserving con- 

* For example, J. R. Angell: Psychology, New York, 1905, pp. 
328 Q. 


ditions favorable to the welfare of the class as a whole. 
In the present connection the fear of punishment as an 
incentive for individual effort is the point at issue. In 
other words, is it legitimate or wise to employ what we 
have termed penalties not only for offenses against disci- 
phne, but also for failure on the part of individual pupils 
to concentrate upon the tasks required of them, even 
though this lack of concentration does not interfere with 
the rights of others? 

7. Reverting to the principles estabhshed in the preced- 
ing discussion, it will be recalled that undesirable impulses 
tend to be inhibited if they are closely associated with 
painful consequences. The pain-reaction is justified in 
offenses against discipline, because the impulses that are 
checked are, in general, unsocial impulses that should 
always be inhibited. Applying this principle to the use 
of pain stimuli as incentives to effort, it is clear that the 
justification or condemnation of such a pohcy depends 
primarily upon what association is made. If the pupil 
always connects lack of appHcation, mind- wandering, pro- 
crastination, and similar factors, with painful consequences, 
it is clear that he will tend to curtail the operation of these 
factors in his school Hfe. If, on the contrary, the associa- 
tion is between the pain stimulus and arithmetic or spell- 
ing or geography, it is clear that the penalties inflicted 
will defeat their own purpose in a most disastrous fashion. 

The two forms of punishment most commonly employed 
to incite pupils to greater effort are : {a) corporal punish- 
ment, and (6) "scoldings." There are very few teachers, 


probably, who now use corporal punishment as an incen- 
tive to effort, and the prevailing practice may, in this 
instance at least, be accepted as in harmony with funda- 
mental principles. For a child to *4eam his lessons" 
simply because he fears the pain or physical punishment 
in case the lessons are not learned means that he is as- 
similating knowledge with reference to a very primitive 
need. Whether this fact will, as Professor Dewey* im- 
phes, absolutely prevent the knowledge gained in this way 
from being appHed to the situations of Hf e, is to be doubted ; 
but it is clear that such assimilation will be at least uneco- 
nomical as compared with that which proceeds from a 
higher purpose. On the other hand, if a pupil can be stim- 
ulated to effort in no other way, it is far better that his tasks 
be performed, even inadequately, through the stimulus of 
physical pain than that he be permitted to grow up in 
ignorance. Especially would physical stimulus be justi- 
fied if the lack of apphcation on the part of an individual 
pupil interfered with the progress of the class as a whole. 
8. In extreme cases, where the fear of pain is needed as 
a stimulus, a temperate use of corporal punishment is 
probably to be preferred to the employment of the more 
common penalty, — ''scolding." And yet this is not to 
say that there is no place for the latter stimulus. A sting- 
ing rebuke may temporarily depress a delinquent pupil, 
and it may even rankle in his memory for an indefinite 
period, but it is sometimes the only thing that will stir him 

^ J. Dewey: The Child and the Curriculum, p. 38; cited by Thorn- 
dike : Principles of Teaching, p. 56. 


to effort. One general principle, however, certainly con- 
ditions the efficiency of this measure: "Scoldings" are 
effective in inverse proportion to the frequency with which 
they are employed. Rebukes lose their ''edge" far more 
quickly than corporal punishment. The teacher who 
continually "nags" his pupils will find that the good 
results will be less and less noticeable as the nagging 
becomes more and more frequent. A quiet rebuke, ad- 
ministered without passion or rage, may be extremely 
effective if it breaks in upon a long period of harmony 
and good- will, but there is nothing to which a pupil will 
more quickly become callous if the measure is repeated 

The sin of nagging is the most common vice of the woman 
teacher, and in the popular mind it is undoubtedly the char- 
acteristic sui generis of the traditional "schoolma'am." So 
easily does the nagging proclivity become a habit, and so 
disastrous are its effects, not only upon the discipline of the 
school, but also upon the temperament and social qualities of 
the teacher who indulges it, that every woman who goes into 
the schoolroom should watch herself closely to prevent the 
genesis of the practice. 

9. To summarize: Attention cannot be economically 
or adequately secured by introducing the fear of punish- 
ment as an incentive. Nevertheless there are very ex- 
ceptional cases where the employment of such an incen- 
tive is the only measure that will have any effect upon the 
pupil. In such extreme cases, corporal punishment is 
probably to be preferred to "scolding," although there 


are occasions when rebukes will stimulate pupils to greater 
activity. The utmost care, however, is required in em- 
ploying either of these two forms of stimulation, and it 
is perhaps the safest poUcy for the beginning teacher to 
avoid them entirely until he feels absolutely certain that he 
can use them effectively and without working an injury. 
The use of corporal punishment as an incentive and its 
use as a penalty for breaches of discipline are not to be 
confused with one another. The latter may be justified 
where the former would be fatal. 

Reference. — White: School Management, pp. 185-188. 


The Problem of Attention (Continued) : Application 
OF THE Second Law through Positive Incentives 

I. The most important applications of the second law 
imply the hope of reward as an incentive to effort. It 
will be recalled that the interposition of a remote end as 
an object to work for does not preclude the operation of 
instinct. It simply postpones the satisfaction or gratifi- 
cation of an instinctive desire, using the desire as a means 
of stimulating effort toward its gratification. When in- 
stinctive interests are thus made incentives to active atten- 
tion, they are transformed through the process, becoming 
what may be termed "acquired interests." Such interests 
may, in course of time, be so far removed from the original 
instinct that all trace of the latter seems to have disappeared ; 
but careful search will always discover a core of instinct 
at the center of every acquired interest, no matter how 
elaborately the latter may have become compHcated in its 

It would follow from this that the remote ends which 
are used as incentives to effort must, in the early stages of 
education, appeal to one or another of the primitive in- 
stincts, and that this appeal must be direct and unequivo- 
cal if the incentive is to function effectively. Incentives 
will accordingly be "high" or "low" as they appeal to an 



acquired interest far removed from a primitive instinct, 
or to a primitive interest closely correlated with a primitive 
instinct. Education must manifestly begin with incentives 
of the lower orders and pass to those of the higher orders ; 
but, even under the most favorable conditions, this transi- 
tion will be but gradual. 

2. The following discussion v^U consider incentives in 
the ascending order of merit, employing the standard set 
forth above. The accompanying outline will give a gen- 
eral view of the treatment: — 

(a) Incentives that make a positive appeal to the instinct of 

(i) Competitive prizes of intrinsic value. 

(2) Competitive prizes not intrinsically valuable. 

(3) Privileges. 

(4) Immunities. 

(5) Display of pupils' work. 

(6) Grades, marks, and promotions. 

(b) Incentives that make a positive appeal to the social 

(i) Praise, commendation, and adulation. 
(2) Pupils' pride in the good name of the school. 

(c) Ideals as incentives. 

3. (a) Incentives that make a Positive Appeal to the 
Instinct of Emulation, (i) Competitive Prizes oj Intrinsic 
Value, To offer material prizes as incentives to effort is 
generally recognized by authorities upon school manage- 
ment as bad practice. It is contended that such prizes ap- 
peal only to a very few pupils, who are, in general, those 
that need incentives the least ; that the prize system tends 


to develop unduly the selfish instincts, often giving rise 
among the brighter pupils (vi^ho alone stand a chance of 
securing the prize) to such perverted forms of the property 
instinct as avarice and cupidity; that, even when rivalry 
exists, such rivalry is usually between two or three of the 
brighter pupils, and that this condition greatly augments 
the danger that healthy emulation will degenerate into 
spite and jealousy; and finally that the material prize 
offers no inducement that could not just as well be involved 
in an immaterial reward. Some authorities^ maintain that 
prizes awarded to all who reach a certain grade rather than 
to one who gets the highest may be legitimately employed. 
This is certainly an improvement on the traditional 
prize system, but still fails to meet the second objection. 
4. (2) Competitive Prizes not intrinsically Valuable, 
Among the commonly employed incentives of this class 
are merit cards, diplomas, badges, buttons, medals, etc. 
Where only a "first'' prize of this sort is offered for com- 
petition, many of the disadvantages involved in material 
prizes will result. Competition is narrowed to a few 
bright pupils, while the duller pupils, needing incentives, 
are stimulated either not at all or in a negative direction, 
becoming so depressed, perhaps, by the fact of their 
own inefficiency that they put forth less effort than they 
would otherwise. Such incentives also tend to develop 
certain traits of character in the very bright pupils that are 
extremely undesirable, — conceit, priggishness, etc. While 

^ For example, S. T. Dutton; School Management y New York, 1904, 
pp. 107 f. 


the system is not so seriously to be condemned as the prac- 
tice of offering material prizes, it is still to be looked upon 
with a degree of suspicion, and to be resorted to only 
under exceptional conditions. It is safe to say that a 
policy of providing penalties for poor work is far better 
and more effective than the policy of offering such prizes 
as have already been mentioned for good work. That is, 
the appeal would reach and stimulate a larger number 
of pupils. 

5. (3) Immunities. In general, the granting of holidays 
and the exemption of pupils from examinations are to be 
considered as bad practice. The granting of hoHdays is 
less objectionable than exemption from examinations, but 
it is disadvantageous in that it places a regular school 
duty in a bad Hght by making of it a punishment. Under 
a strict interpretation of the laws of many states, the 
practice would probably be illegal. 

The very common practice of exempting pupils from 
examinations in case they reach a certain grade or "pass- 
ing mark'' in the daily work is open to serious objection 
for two reasons: (a) it places the examination under a 
stigma by implying that it is a punishment ; (b) it deprives 
pupils of the privilege of taking the examination: this 
may not appeal to them as a privilege, but if the conten- 
tion that the examination is one of the most valuable parts 
of the educative process is vaUd,^ it is certainly unjust to 
deprive the benefits of this exercise to the very pupils who 
would profit by it in the highest measure. 

^ Cf. The Educative Process, ch. xadi. 


6. (4) Privileges. Among the privileges that are com- 
monly employed as incentives are monitorial positions, 
favored locations in seating, high rank upon a ''roll of 
honor," etc. The general rule that should govern the 
use of these incentives is this: Privileges that bring con- 
stantly before the poorer pupils the consciousness of their 
inferiority should be avoided; the depressing influence 
in such cases far overbalances any advantage that the 
system may possess. This applies principally to the seat- 
ing of pupils. 

In the case of monitorial positions as rewards for effort, 
the situation is somewhat different. The employment is 
only for temporary periods during the day, the number of 
monitors to be employed is generally large enough to 
supply places for most of the pupils, and the system puts 
a premium upon service, making it a privilege instead of 
a penalty. In the lower grades this incentive is among 
the best of those that appeal to the instinct of emulation. 
Its main disadvantage Ues in the fact that monitors must 
be changed frequently if the privilege is to be effective. 
This involves the "breaking in" and training of pupils 
for new duties, thus distracting somewhat from the eco- 
nomical operation of the school machinery. 

A "roll of honor" is permissible if it is not constantly 
in evidence. All devices of this sort must be used tem- 
perately and not permitted to become the be-all and end- 
all of the pupil's existence. Too often the roll of honor 
becomes this in the eyes of the pupils whose names are 
upon it, while with the less industrious (or the less fortu- 


nate) it becomes a list of the "goody-goodies," — a type 
of pupil that an overplus of "fol-de-rol" tends to develop. 

7. (5) Exhibition of Pupils^ Work. This incentive is 
coming into very general use in the better schools. It 
provides a means of gratifying the instinct of emulation 
without involving many of the dangers inherent in the 
more artificial devices discussed above. It also tends, 
when handled carefully, to arouse in the pupils a sense 
of pride in the work of the school as a whole. 

The exhibition of work, however, involves some marked 
dangers that must not be overlooked or minimized. Chief 
among these is the undue emphasis that it places upon form 
as contrasted with content. Where work is suspended 
upon the wall in long rows, — essays, examination papers, 
drawings, etc., — it is the total effect of the display that 
counts, not the individual merit of any one paper, and it 
is the total effect in artistic appearance rather than in the 
intrinsic worth of the composition or the examination as 
revealing the thought of the pupil. Under these condi- 
tions it is the pupils who produce the neatest work that 
are singled out for the highest honors, and these are not 
always the pupils who do the best work from the stand- 
point of thought and content. Again, the exhibition of 
work is apt to overemphasize written work at the expense 
of oral work — a sin which the public school commits far 
too frequently in other ways than this. Oral expression 
is vastly more important than written expression, and the 
energies of the school should be devoted toward its train- 
ing far more strenuously than is now the case. If, how- 


ever, written work becomes the standard of efficiency, this 
reform will receive a serious setback.^ Under these quah- 
fications, the exhibition of work may be recommended as 
a safe and effective incentive.^ 

8. (6) Grades, Marks, and Promotions. These devices 
occupy a middle position in that they make their appeal in 
part to the instinct of emulation and in part to the social 
instinct. It is probable that the most effective appeal is 
made from the latter standpoint, at least in the higher 
grades. With pupils in the adolescent period and some- 
what earlier, the inducement to effort that comes from 
hope of promotion or from fear of retroversion owes its 
force largely to an instinctive desire to be with one's fel- 
lows — to remain an integral part of the class with which 
one has been associated. The desire to obtain a high 
standing, while often an expression of the instinct of emu- 
lation, is sometimes also due to the desire to be "with 
the crowd," — a desire which is negatively expressed by 
the instinctive aversion toward abnormality — toward a 
noticeable differentiation from the "crowd." In what- 
ever class these incentives are to be placed, however, every 
teacher (and every pupil) will testify as to their efficiency 
in stimulating effort. 

9. There is a tendency ^ at the present time to criticise 
the employment of these devices, especially in the elemen- 

^ Cf. an excellent discussion of this matter in P. Chubb; The Teach- 
ing of English, New York, 1903, pp. 106 £f. 

^ For valuable suggestions on this topic, cf. J. Taylor: Class Manage- 
ment, New York, 1903, pp. 95 ff. 

^ Cf. Button, op. cU., pp. 100 f. 


tary school. The evil effects of worry, among pupils of 
nervous temperament, are frequently urged against the 
promotion and marking system. It is also maintained 
that promotion, in the school use of the term, has nothing 
in common with any condition to be met in real life. 
The great men who were dullards in school are pointed 
out as evidence that scholastic standards and the standards 
of adult society in measuring efficiency are vastly different. 
For these and other reasons the formaUty and ceremony 
involved in "passing" from grade to grade have, in many 
cases, been dispensed with, and pupils are advanced with 
Uttle reference to their attainments or their abiUty to do 
the work required of the grade to which they are sent. 
This "reform" has, of course, gone hand in hand with 
the abolition of final examinations in the elementary 

While the arguments against a rigid system of grading 
and promotion carry a certain measure of conviction, they 
involve several pronounced fallacies. If the work of the 
school is not similar to the work of life, the fact surely 
offers no excuse for doing it in a slip-shod fashion, and 
experience teaches that it will be done in a sHp-shod 
fashion, unless definite standards are set up and rigor- 
ously adhered to. That all or even an appreciable pro- 
portion of the great men of to-day were dull pupils at 
school is a statement that must be proved by statistics of 
an accurate sort before it can be used as a basis for re- 
organizing the school system. Aside from a few excep- 
tional cases that attract notice purely because of their 


exceptional nature, whatever evidence is now available 
seems to point quite in the opposite direction. That 
children sometimes worry needlessly about promotion is 
doubtless true. That this condition ever reaches the 
extraordinary dimensions attributed to it by some au- 
thorities is gravely to be doubted — at least until proofs 
are forthcoming. Some worry is bound to be involved 
in carrying out any task or duty that is really worth while ; 
in fact, the worry is sometimes directly proportional to the 
worth. On the other hand, to take away the formahty of 
*' passing" is not only to "let down the bars" and encourage 
low standards or no standards at all, but it is also to deprive 
the teacher of one of the most powerful incentives that he 
can command. 

10. But even if it is decided that the grading of pupils 
and the formaUties incident to promotion are legitimate 
incentives, the dangers pointed out above are real dangers, 
and pains must be taken to counteract them, or, at least, 
to mitigate their evil influences. ** Passing" can easily 
be made altogether too important a thing in the pupils' 
eyes. After all, it is only a device, not an end in itself, 
and the moment that it becomes an end in itself, it is in a 
fair way to defeat its own purposes. It is certainly bad 
practice to keep the fear of failure continually before the 
pupils' mind. It is equally bad practice to encourage 
the pupil into the belief that "making the grade" should 
be his sole and only end in Ufe. Like all other devices, 
promotion, considered either from a positive or from a 
negative standpoint, — either as hope or fear, — should 


be used as a spur to effort only when a spur is neededy and 
when some more worthy incentive fails to operate. When- 
ever a pupil falls behind in his work, and fails to respond to 
the suggestions and hints of the teacher, it is but justice 
to him that he be informed of the questionable nature of 
his standing and of the likeUhood that, unless greater effort 
is forthcoming, failure or retroversion to a lower grade 
will result. 

An occasional retroversion in mid-term may prove a valuable 
and effective stimulus to other less weak but still doubtful cases. 
This should not be commonly resorted to, of course, because of 
the effect upon the penalized pupil ; but in cases where pupils 
are passed conditionally, the condition should be fulfilled to 
the letter if it is to mean anything in the eyes of the pupils. 
Too often, conditioned pupils are permitted to remain in the 
advanced grade, although their work falls very far below the 
standard. This is a most reprehensible form of "soft peda- 

II. Grades and marks are indispensable factors in the 
mechanics of grading and promotion. Some authorities 
disapprove of the practice of letting pupils know their 
grades until the end of the term, and even then, it is recom- 
mended, the pupil should simply be recorded as "passed" 
or "failed" or "conditioned." Certainly there is much 
to be said against the grading system, and yet, like the 
system of promotions of which it is only one phase, the 
difficulties lie mainly in its abuse. Here as elsewhere it 
is possible to take a middle course, taking advantage of 
whatever efficiency the system may possess in stimulating 


to greater effort, and still stopping far short of making 
marks an end in themselves. A monthly statement of 
pupils' standings, sent to the parents, is one of the best 
methods of securing the effective cooperation of home and 
school. It serves as a valuable reference in case, at the 
end of the term, there is any difficulty about failure to 
promote. Needless to say, great care must be taken to 
make these reports accurate indices of the pupils' work. 
While elaborate bookkeeping should be avoided, it is a 
simple matter to record at the close of each day a numerical 
estimate of each pupil's work in different subjects. These 
estimates can be averaged at the end of the month. For 
the report cards, letters are to be preferred to numerical 
estimates, because of the ease with which one figure's dif- 
ference may change a pupil's fate, and the difficulty of 
satisfying both parents and pupils that John, whose grade 
is 74, should be kept back ; while James, whose grade is 
76, may be sent on. 

The writers upon school management are not inclined to 
admit that any incentive having its basis in the instinct of emu- 
lation is justified, except in so far as the operation of the incen- 
tive does not involve the degradation of those who do not suc- 
ceed. Professor Seeley's discussion ^ of the matter is typical : 
"As emulation is a natural instinct, it can be used in the school 
without evil effects. The principle governing its use should be 
excelling without degrading others. ... A child reads a para- 
graph. * Who will try to read it better ? ' asks the teacher, and 
many hands will be raised in generous and ambitious rivalry. 
Children are invited to do their best in a written exercise, and 

* L. Seeley: A New School Management^ New York, 1903, pp. 172 ff. 


the teacher selects the best and commends it. Rapid and neat 
work in number is called for, and the successful pupil is praised. 
. . . Such rivalry is healthful, generous, and inspiring." It 
is difficult to see that these recommendations remove the initial 
difficulty. The very question, ''Who will read this better?" 
implies that the pupil who has just read must take a low rank. 
In fact, emulation must involve this factor if it is to be emula- 

The same criticism could be made of the defense of emula- 
tion presented by the Jesuit father, Robert Schwickerath.^ In 
mentioning the strictures that have been passed upon the Jesuit 
system of education because of its emphasis of emulation, he 
says: ''That these exercises were by no means intended to 
develop the bad emulation, or false self-love in the young, is 
evident ; this would have been little to the purpose with religious 
teachers. . . . What is appealed to, is the spirit of good and 
noble emulation, — honesta cemulatio, as the Ratio says, — 
and that by a world of industry which spurs young students 
on to excellence in whatever they undertake, and rewards the 
development of natural energies with the natural luxury of 
confessedly doing well. This makes the boys feel happy in 
having done well, however little they enjoyed the labor before, 
and will rouse them to new exertions. Gradually they may 
then be led to higher motives in their endeavors." 

It must be confessed that the distinction between good and 
bad emulation is not very clear from this discussion. At any 
rate, "the natural luxury of doing well" has very Httle affinity 
to emulation as an instinct. Much more to the point is the 
same author's positive justification of the Jesuit practice, lay- 
ing aside all sentimental distinctions that fail to distinguish: 
"Is it probable that young pupils will readily be diligent, when 
told that they ought to do their work? Kant's teaching of the 

^ R. Schwickerath : Jesuit Education, St. Louis, 1903, p. 512. 


autonomy of the human reason is not only deficient, but posi- 
tively erroneous; but least of all will the rule, you ought be- 
cause reason tells you so, have any effect on the young." ^ 

In the problem of emulation we have an example of that 
condition which has recurred so frequently in our previous dis- 
cussions, and which sometimes makes the entire process of 
education appear to be a huge paradox. Education, like civili- 
zation, is an artificial process, — a compromise between the 
brutal and the human, a readjustment from primitive to social 
conditions. The teacher cannot always choose the methods of 
this readjustment. The cloth must be cut to fit the wearer, 
not the tailor. That the instinct of emulation sometimes 
works evil in the school does not in itself condemn it; the evil 
must be measured up against the good. Success for one may 
mean failure — must mean failure — to another ; but if this 
failure becomes a spur to increased effort, the net result may 
be commendable. It is the same test that must be applied 
over and over again in education : not. Is there any danger in 
using this method ? but rather. Are the possible benefits numer- 
ous enough and certain enough to warrant the risk? If this 
test is applied to emulation as a school incentive, especially dur- 
ing the preadolescent period, there can be little doubt of a 
favorable verdict. 

12. (b) Incentives that make a Positive Appeal to the 
Social Instincts, (i) Praise , Commendation, and Adu- 
lation, That a child will put forth effort in order to win 
the praise or commendation of his parents or teachers is 
a proposition that needs no proof. That the fact is due 
to the operation of an instinct is also not to be doubted, 
for the tendency appears too early in the child's life to 
admit of any other explanation. Whether the instinct 

^ Schwickerath, op. cit., p. 513. 


belongs to the social order or is to be classed as a form 
of emulation is not a matter of serious moment in the 
present connection. The fact, however, that praise is 
effective even if there is no competition in gaining it, 
would seem to ehminate emulation, while the fact that 
the love of praise is closely associated with the altruistic 
tendencies — for one generally covets the praise of those 
whom one admires — would indicate its social basis. 

13. The efficiency of praise and commendation in stimu- 
lating effort cannot be doubted.^ Through all stages of 
education these incentives are probably among the most 
potent. Their maximal efficiency is, however, strictly 
conditioned by some very important principles, (i) A 
nice compromise must be made between too Httle praise 
and too much. The latter extreme certainly defeats its 
own purpose by giving the child an exaggerated opinion 
of his own abiHty; as a result, instead of putting forth 
more effort, he is apt to put forth less. (2) Praise must 
always be justified by the effort that calls it forth. While 
it is permissible to praise a dull child for work that could 
not be accepted from a more capable pupil, it would be 
bad practice to praise a bright pupil for work that may be 
beyond anything that his duller fellow could accomplish, 
but which still has cost him (the brighter pupil) only a 
minimal effort. (3) Indiscriminate praise or mere flattery 
will unerringly be detected by pupils, and the most deplor- 

^ "To be in disgrace with its parents ought to be for the child the 
heaviest penalty. To have their favor should be its highest reward." — 
Felix Adler: "Punishment of Children," in Journal of Education 
(Boston), 1906, vol. Ixiii, p. 481. 


able consequences will, in all probability, be the result. 
(4) Even justifiable praise, if carried too far or continued 
too long, may lead the pupil into the very unfortunate 
attitude of thinking that everything which he does well 
must meet with a commendatory reception, — a mistake 
of which he will certainly have to disabuse his mind when 
he leaves school and faces the problems of real life. There 
are not a few men and women in the world who can trace 
their failure to the fact that the praise with which effort 
was rewarded in childhood, and especially during school 
life, was not forthcoming when they began their real work. 
As a consequence, they become depressed and discour- 
aged, sour and morose, and such an attitude is fatal to 

It may be concluded that, in the early stages of educa- 
tion, praise should be neither begrudged nor lavished. As 
the child develops, it is only superlatively good work that 
should be highly commended. It is only through some 
such plan as this that praise can be made an effective and 
safe incentive. Under such conditions it becomes, per- 
haps, the most effective of all incentives. The desire to 
*'win recognition" is the driving force that is back of 
most of the best work that is done in the world. Nothing 
more specific than the above principles can be laid down 
as governing the operation of this incentive in the 
schoolroom, but its basic significance cannot be overesti- 

14. (2) Pupils^ Pride in the Good Name of the School, 
In the writer's opinion one of the most powerful incentives 


to effort on the part of pupils is the pride that they may be 
led to take in the good name and high standing of the 
school. This incentive operates most effectively in the 
large cities where there is a distinct and recognized rivalry 
between different schools, and where the interchange of 
visits among teachers of different schools is a common 
practice. In such cases the best schools receive the 
greatest number of visitors, and the presence of visitors 
never ceases to have a stimulating effect upon the work of 
the pupils. In a Chicago school, for example, over two 
thousand visitors were registered in a single year. They 
were attracted by the excellence of the work done in the 
school, but there is no doubt that the benefit was mutual, 
— that the fact of constant inspection acted refiexly in 
stimulating pupils to greater effort and in building up an 
esprit de corps that must mean much to the school's effi- 

A danger lurks, of course, in the operation of this in- 
centive, as danger always lurks in the operation of any 
incentive. When a school becomes a '^show" school, the 
spectacular features of school work are more than apt to 
be overestimated and overemphasized. The pupils, too, 
may acquire an exaggerated opinion of their own abilities. 
Under a wise principal, however, — and only a wise prin- 
cipal can establish a permanent reputation for his school, — 
these dangers will be recognized and counteracted. 

In the smaller systems of schools the efficiency of this 
incentive will be somewhat diminished because of the 
lack of rivalry; but in all schools visiting should be 


encouraged, and especially the visiting of teachers to one 
another's rooms. Where the population is relatively dense 
and neighboring towns are easily accessible, there should 
be frequent interchange of visits among the various corps. 
The value of this policy is by no means Umited to the stimu- 
lating effect that these visits have upon the pupils. They 
serve in no less degree to stimulate the teachers by bringing 
them in contact with the actual work of others who are 
meeting and solving the same problems.^ 

15. The value of school exhibits in the creating of an 
esprit de corps is also great, although probably less than 
that which accrues to the visiting of schools. The dan- 
ger lies in the fact that the school exhibit places a pre- 
mium upon ''show" work of a specific sort, — "showy" 
results. The time of the pupils is apt to be given in un- 
due proportion to the preparation of the exhibits. The 
really important part of school work — the daily routine 
— is thereby broken up, and the more intangible results 
of this routine receive no adequate recognition. Where 
the regular work forms the exhibit, as it does in school 
visiting and inspection, the routine itself becomes the 
important thing. Nevertheless, school exhibits at county 
and state fairs, and at national expositions, have a certain 
value and may be profitably used as incentives under 
conditions that render visiting and inspection imprac- 

16. {c) Ideals as Incentives. While the distinction be- 

^ Cf. some valuable suggestions on this matter in Button: School 
Management, pp. 37 £f. 


tween an ideal and the incentives that have just been dis- 
cussed cannot be closely drawn, there is a real distinction 
which needs to be recognized and emphasized. The 
latter depend upon the idea of an end to be reached in the 
somewhat immediate future. If effort is put forth, one 
may escape a punishment, or procure a reward, or be "pro- 
moted," or increase the respect in which the school is 
held. Unless the effort led to the fulfillment of the promise 
held forth by the incentive, the idea of the end would soon 
cease to be effective. 

An ideal, however, stands upon a higher plane. One 
puts forth effort, — one performs a task, does something 
that one does not wish to do, — not because the putting 
forth of the effort will necessarily lead to, the desired end, 
but because the effort is demanded by an ideal, and not 
to put forth the effort would mean infidelity to the ideal 
involved. When one works from a sense of duty, from a 
sense of self-respect, from an appreciation of the glory 
of work in itself and of the ignominy of idleness, — when 
one puts forth effort under any of these conditions, even 
though the desires of the moment are in another direc- 
tion, — the operating force is an ideal. 

17. The psychology of ideals is, as yet, a dark chapter 
in the science of mind, but there can be no doubt that an 
ideal is a highly evolved product, in the development of 
which the incentives named above must play an important 
part. Neither can one doubt that the all-important task 
of the school is to develop in its pupils some of the ideals 
that have just been referred to. The danger of an educa- 


tional policy that lays too much stress upon incentives of 
the lower orders is that the stem discipHnes of duty, self- 
respect, and self-sacrificing efifort find no place in the 
system. The time should certainly come in the school 
life of every pupil when tasks can be assigned without bring- 
ing vividly before him a definite end that the performance 
of the task may bring about; when merely from the 
"sense" of duty the necessary effort will be forthcoming 
without involving the questions of Why? or Wherefore? 
Is it interesting? What good is it going to do me? As 
the author of the "Message to Garcia" clearly points out, 
the lack of abihty to do something, the reasons and details 
and modus operandi of which are not thoroughly explained 
and made clear beforehand, is one of the prime causes of 
social inefficiency. One would certainly not argue for an 
educational policy that should make the bhnd obedience 
to authority its sole and only end ; but between this extreme 
and that which is deliberately encouraged by contemporary 
educational theory, and which disapproves explicitly of 
setting tasks for which the pupil can see no reason, there 
is plenty of room for a sane compromise. 

The important principle in school practice is this: 
Effective ideals derive the greater part of their power from 
the specific habits that have been developed during the 
formative period of life. The ideal of duty grows out of 
the specific habits of obedience, the ideal of work out of 
the specific habits of industry, and so on. These habits 
may be initiated by the application of the various incentives 
named above, and then, in the later periods of the pupil's 


school life, the habits should, in turn, be generalized on 
the basis of ideals. 

References. — White: School Management, pp. 130-188; Seeley: 
A New School Management, ch. xiii; Roark: Economy in Educa- 
tion, pp. 55-58; Button: School Management, ch. viii; Kellogg: 
School Management, pp. 36-50; Kirkpatrick: Fundamentals of 
Child Study , chs. xi, xii; Thomdike: Principles of Teaching^ ch. v. 


The Technique of Class Instruction 

1. Although a discussion of methods of teaching is 
not germane to the purpose of this book, there are certain 
principles and devices of method that have to do specifically 
with the effective treatment of children in the mass ; these, 
it is clear, must claim attention from the standpoint of 
classroom management. It is obvious to any one familiar 
with public school work that no small amount of waste is 
involved through lack of an adequate technique of class 
instruction. Principles of method are, as a rule, derived 
from broader psychological principles, which, in turn, rest 
upon a study of the individual mind. While such prin- 
ciples are, in general, vaUd in appHcation to a group of 
individual pupils, the fact of grouping introduces some 
modifying factors, and the operation of these factors neces- 
sarily makes the treatment of the group somewhat differ- 
ent from what the treatment of a single individual would be. 

2. The unique problem of class instruction is to secure 
the attention of all pupils to the matter in hand, and to keep 
all of the pupils up to practically the same level of attain- 
ment in spite of individual differences in previous attain- 
ment and capacity for further growth. These difficulties 
are augmented by the American method of classroom organ- 



ization whereby two or more distinct groups or classes are 
often placed in the same room and under the instruction 
of a single teacher. This plan requires that the members 
of each class work independently of the teacher for at 
least half of the time that they spend in the classroom. 
Thus, while the difficulties of securing attention from all 
pupils during the periods of direct instruction are not slight, 
the addition of independent work will multiply the oppor- 
tunities for wasting time and misdirecting energy, and will 
render still more difficult the task of securing uniform and 
maximally good results from all pupils. 

3. The first concern of classroom management with 
method of instruction has, therefore, to do with this 
problem : How may the teacher make effective that part 
of the class work which is necessarily more or less unsuper- 
vised ? In more definite terms this question becomes the 
problem of the study period : How may the independent 
work of the pupils during their study periods be made 
effective ? 

The presence of two or more classes in the same room, 
which is so common in our schools, is probably one cause 
of the extent to which text-books have come to be employed 
as media of instruction. The text-book, indeed, is the 
easiest solution of the problem of educating children in 
the mass. It makes possible the systematic assignment 
of seat work by providing each pupil with the same task. 
It relieves the teacher very largely of the task of mapping 
out his own courses, and keeps instruction to a definite 
line. On the other hand, it introduces a dangerous ele- 


ment in that it makes for lower standards of scholarship 
in the teaching profession than would be possible if every 
teacher were responsible for direct instruction. The system 
is also defective in that the text-book frequently "tells" 
too much and leaves very little latitude for the discovery 
of truth by the pupil. On the whole, however, the text- 
book system possesses virtues which probably counter- 
balance its defects, provided, of course, that an adequate 
technique of using text-books is developed ; and in addi- 
tion to this, the text-book poHcy is too thoroughly a part 
of American education to permit of eradication save by 
some process akin to revolution.^ 

The problem of the present chapter, then, is the elimi- 
nation of the waste that is involved in the study period, 
but inasmuch as the use of text-books offers a general 
solution of the problem, the question may be stated still 
more specifically: How may text-books be used effec- 
tively ? 

Text-books may be roughly divided into three classes: 
(a) readers; (b) manuals or handbooks, such as arithmetic 
and grammar texts which provide a minimum of facts and 
principles with a maximum of exercises or problems to be 
worked out by the pupils; and (c) text-books proper, such as 
geographies, histories, and physiologies, in which the chief aim 
is the logical and systematic setting forth of facts and principles. 
The general principles of text-book instruction apply with 
equal force to each of these classes; they are especially im- 
portant, however, in the use of the third class. 

^ Cf. a more detailed discussion of this matter in The Educative 
Process, ch. xvii. 


4. The Difficulties of Text-book Instruction. In using 
text-books three general difficulties must be overcome: 
(a) The pupil must have some motive for attacking the 
printed page, or some interest in its contents, if he is to 
give it the attention that is necessary for the assimilation 
of the matter presented. Not all of the material presented 
in text-books is intrinsically interesting to every pupil, nor 
can it be assumed in every case that the pupil possesses 
an adequate motive for acquiring something that is not 
intrinsically interesting, (b) The text-book may employ 
terms the meanings of which are not familiar to the pupils. 
It may use famihar words in new connections. It may 
present matter for the apperception of which the pupil 
lacks an adequate basis of fact, (c) Even if these con- 
ditions are not operative, the reading of the text will not 
hold attention so well as would the oral presentation of the 
same matter. Attention is a rhythmic process, presenting 
periods or phases which we describe as rise, dominance, 
and decHne.^ These rhythms follow one another very 
rapidly, whether the pupils are listening to oral instruc- 
tion or preparing lessons irom text-books. In the former 
case, however, the character of the instruction "fits in" 
more or less perfectly with the rhythmic nature of atten- 
tion. The speaker modulates his voice; he emphasizes 
some words and minimizes others; he introduces facial 
expression and gestures: in short, oral instruction pro- 

^ The current controversy among psychologists with regard to the 
rhythms of attention has, of course, no bearing upon the fact of the rhyth- 
mic characteristic of the attentive state. It concerns merely the ex- 
planation of the rhythms. 


vides a greater variety of sensory impressions, and variety 
of stimulus is one of the most essential conditions of atten- 
tion. The printed page, on the other hand, is more 
monotonous in respect of the sensory impressions that it 
provides ; it might be described as presenting its material 
on the same level continually; while the speaker works 
in three dimensions, the writer is, as it were, limited to 

The technique of text-book instruction must, in some 
manner, counteract or overcome these difficulties. Its 
problems are (a) to give the pupil a motive, or to develop 
an interest in the material presented ; (b) to clear up the 
difficulties of thought and form that would otherwise be 
insuperable barriers to the assimilation of the material 
presented; and (c) to provide some measure of variety 
that will serve to relieve the monotony of the printed page — 
to make the saUent and important points stand out clearly. 

5. Divisions of the Text-book Lesson, (a) The Assign- 
ment. The text-book lesson normally falls into three 
parts: (a) the assignment; (b) the study lesson; and 
(c) the recitation. Of these, the first is undoubtedly the 
most important from the standpoint of the teacher. 

The assignment of a lesson should fulfill two functions : 
(i) It should clear up the insuperable or relatively insuper- 
able difficulties in the way of form. These difficulties 
may consist of new words, obscure passages, and difficult 
or unusual constructions. How far the teacher should go 
in this direction will be a matter of judgment in each 
specific case. To spend valuable time in explaining the 


meaning of words with which the pupils are already 
familiar is obviously a waste of time and energy. Again, 
to do too much for the pupil may be to miss a valuable 
opportunity for encouraging independent effort on his 
part. Some authorities believe that the teacher should 
give absolutely no help in the assignment; the pupil, they 
assert, should solve the difficulties for himself. Let the 
new words be ''looked up" in the dictionary, and let the 
constructions be worked out independently. But is it 
always profitable or economical to do this? Are the 
results gained, for example, in "running down" all new 
words in the dictionary commensurate with the time and 
energy expended? Is not the dictionary definition often 
misleading, and does one not often get meanings from 
famiUar context that are far more valuable than those de- 
rived from formal definitions? It is such questions as 
these that must be met and answered in determining how 
much to do for the pupil in assigning lessons.^ In the 

^ It is interesting to note how authorities differ with regard to the use 
of the dictionary in the lower grades. The Illinois "Course of Study" 
contains the following recommendations: "By the time the pupil reaches 
the sixth grade, he should be able to pronounce all the common words at 
sight. He should be required during the study hour, to look up in the 
dictionary the pronunciation of all words unfamiliar to him. In Grades 
V and VI he is taught how to use the dictionary for definitions. ... He 
should learn to decide between the meanings of a word to select the 
meaning that the context calls for. This work is begun in the fifth 
grade and carried on more independently by the pupil himself in the 
sixth." (p. 61.) Superintendent R. G. Young of Butte recommends 
the use of the dictionary in the last half of Grade III. The Portland 
(Oregon) " Course of Study " prescribes the dictionary for pronunci- 
ation in the first half of Grade IV. State Superintendent Carring- 
ton of Missouri recommends the dictionary for Grade VI. In the Los 


writer's experience the best results have been obtained 
by carefully explaining all formal difficulties in lessons 
assigned to the lower grades — through the fourth grade 
in any case. In the upper grades more reUance is placed 
upon dictionary work, but even then new terms that are 
especially important are developed orally.^ 

The technique of developing new words permits numerous 
variations. In some lessons the subject-matter treated by the 
text is briefly outlined, the new words being written upon the 
blackboard and explained through illustrative sentences when- 
ever they come up in this preliminary development of the lesson. 
In other lessons it will be unnecessary to give an oral develop- 
ment of the subject-matter, and the new words in such cases 
may be given in sentences that are not directly related to the 
content of the text. In any case it is much better to give the 
word in a familiar sentence and ask the pupils to tell its mean- 
ing than to write the word upon the blackboard and give a 
formal definition. In all assignments there should be more or 
less ''give-and-take" between pupils and teacher if the pupils 
are to follow the development attentively. 

Angeles schools it is prescribed for Grade V. Many other authori- 
ties make similar recommendations. On the other hand, Principal 
Chubb warns us not to "overwork the dictionary" in the earlier grades, 
and Professor S. H. Clark would have the meaning of words gained from 
context rather than by dictionary definition. 

^ "What is the teacher for? . . . Good pedagogy says, To give such 
a preview of every subject, of every lesson, as will make the pupil's study 
effective, as will help him to see relations, and save him from misconcep- 
tions. Without the proper preview, a great part of the teacher's work is 
correcting errors that ought to have been avoided — is requiring the pupil 
to 'unlearn' what he never ought to have learned. The preview is the 
'ounce of prevention' that is worth a whole night occupied in correcting 
the pupil's written work." — F. H. Hall, in School Neivs (Taylorville, 
Illinois), 1906, vol. xix, p. 338. 


6. Formal difficulties are not infrequently due to the 
fact that pupils fail to notice sUght pecuHarities of form 
upon which an important meaning may turn. Thus the 
"thought" of a paragraph may sometimes depend upon 
a small word that may be overlooked, or upon the pecuHar 
emphasis that must be given to a certain word. The 
pupils should, of course, be encouraged to search these 
things out for themselves ; but they will not accomplish this 
end unless some hint as to the method is given in the 

These unobtrusive peculiarities of form are really the factors 
that make English spelling so difficult to master. The slight 
formal difference between ''thought" and ''though," "saw" 
and "was," are instances that will be familiar to all teachers 
in the primary grades. Even more troublesome are the words 
that are identical in sound, but which have different meanings 
and different spellings, — "knew" and "new," "deer" and 
"dear," and the like. 

The assignment is consequently at no time more important 
than in preparing for the spelling lesson. The pupils' attention 
must be explicitly directed to the minute differences that are 
apt to cause trouble. This is best done by emphasizing the 
correct form, without, at the same time, suggesting the mistake 
that the pupil is likely to make. A very good example of an 
effective assignment in this respect was recently brought to 
the writer's attention by an institute instructor. In a spelling 
lesson for the fourth grade the only word that was apt to cause 
trouble was "separate." The instructor suggested writing 
this word slowly upon the blackboard, pausing briefly at the 
end of the first syllable, — "sep," — then writing the trouble- 
some "a" with bright red crayon, completing the word with 
white crayon, — "separate." Whenever a wrong letter is apt 


to be substituted, owing to phonic resemblances, some device 
like this that will bring the correct letter vividly before the 
pupils' minds may appropriately find a place in the assign- 

In another fourth-grade spelling lesson the following words 
were assigned for spelling: close, clothes, brought, thought, 
carpenter, advantage, devour, pieces, comfortable. The 
teacher's general method of assignment was to have each word 
carefully focalized, syllabicated, pronounced, and spelled, first 
silently and then aloud. In discriminating between homo- 
phones, the pupils were required to used the words correctly 
in sentences. In focalizing the word "clothes," the teacher 
pointed to the "e" and said, "I want you always to remember 
to put this letter in." When ''brought" and ''thought" were 
under discussion, the teacher asked if the words were alike in 
any respect, A pupil suggested that they ended in the same 
way. "Yes," said the teacher, "if we cover up the first two 
letters of each, they are alike. Then let us remember what 
these two letters are for each word." Mnemonic devices were 
used in focalizing "devour" and "pieces." In the former case, 
the "our" was arbitrarily associated with "devoz^r"; in the 
latter case, "pie" was associated with ^^ pieces." The pupils 
were familiar with the spelling of both "our" and "pie." 
Just how far such mnemonic devices should be employed is an 
open question, but the results in these instances seemed tcf 
justify the practice. In order to test the efl&ciency of this 
assignment, the same words were given to the class five days 
afterward. Eighty per cent of the pupils spelled all of the 
words correctly; twenty per cent failed on one of the nine 
words. The same lesson was given to another class of the 
same age and grade without assignment or study. One pupil 
spelled eight words correctly; another spelled only one cor- 
rectly; the average standing of the class in the test was 47 
per cent. 


7. (2) The second function of the assignment is even 
more important than the first. It is to develop in the pupil 
either an interest in the subject-matter of the text, or a 
motive for attacking the text aggressively. In this con- 
nection the first task is to make clear the relation between 
the forthcoming lesson and those that have preceded, — 
to "connect up" the new and the old. If this is not done, 
the text may be comparatively meaningless to the pupil; 
and his assimilation of the content will, of course, be im- 

It is at this point that the inductive development lesson, 
involving the five "formal steps" of the Herbartian pedagogy, 
has its field of widest application in our American schools. 
Many teachers who have mastered the theory of the formal 
steps in their normal school or college work fail to use the 
inductive method of development in their teaching, because 
the public school system in which they work is dominated by 
text-books, and they cannot see how the text-book and the 
development lesson can go hand in hand. As a matter of fact, 
the assignment of any text-book lesson in which a new prin- 
ciple is brought out may involve an inductive oral development 
covering, perhaps, an entire period. 

This is clearly seen in the teaching of arithmetic and gram- 
mar. In taking up any new principle, such as the division of 
decimals, or the definition of a preposition, the proper pro- 
cedure is inductive development, involving (a) the preparation 
(bringing into consciousness the material already mastered 
upon which the new principle depends) ; (b) the presentation 
(generally concrete cases involving the new principle) ; (c) the 
comparison and abstraction (comparing the concrete cases and 
picking out the common elements); (d) the generalization 
(formulating the common elements in a rule, definition, or 

iqS classroom management 

principle); and (e) application (showing how the principle 
applies to new cases). 

The following lesson in arithmetic represents an actual 
assignment given to a ninth-grade class: — 

The lesson had for its purpose the development of the prin- 
ciple that, in a right-angled triangle, the square of the hypote- 
nuse equals the sum of the squares of the other two sides. 
The teacher had prepared a diagram showing a right-angled 
triangle with squares constructed upon the hypotenuse and the 
two sides. The perpendicular of the triangle was labeled A By 
and was three inches in length ; the base (BC) was four inches 
in length; the hypotenuse (AC) was five inches in length. 
The diagram was carefully drawn upon a flexible blackboard, 
which the teacher had rolled up, and which was not displayed 
to the pupils until the step of preparation had been completed. 
(Note the value of this small detail of technique in the appeal 
made to the instinct of curiosity.) 

Preparation. The class had been working problems involving 
the application of square root in determining the side of square 
when the area is given. Problems of this nature had been as- 
signed for home work, and a few moments at the beginning of 
the recitation were devoted to a discussion of two problems with 
which the pupils had found difficulty. By this means the prin-, 
ciples governing the extraction of square root were reviewed. 

Statement of the Aim. '* To-day we shall study another appli- 
cation of square root." 

Presentation. The flexible blackboard which has been 
hanging on the wall is unrolled. The teacher calls the atten- 
tion of the class to the diagram. 

Teacher. "Where did I begin to make this drawing?'* 
(Calling on a certain pupil.) 

Pupil. *'You drew the triangle first." 

T. ''What kind of a triangle did I draw?" (Calling on 
another pupil.) 


P. *'A right-angled triangle." 

T. *'We call these two hnes (pointing io AB and BC) the 
perpendicular and the base. This third line, however, has a 
name of its own with which you are not famihar. We call this 
the hypotenuse." (Writes the name on the board as she pro- 
nounces the word.) 

The names are then rapidly reviewed, the teacher pointing 
to the three lines in rapid succession, and calling upon different 
pupils, who rise quickly and give the required names. 

T. ** After drawing the triangle, what did I next do?" 

Various pupils volunteer different opinions. Finally one 
pupil replies : — 

"You made a square with the perpendicular for one side." 

T. **Yes; and how long is the perpendicular?" 

P. (After measuring it): "Three inches." 

T. "How shall I find the area of the square?" (Calling on 
a particular pupil by name, as is the invariable custom of 
most good teachers in work of this sort.) 

P. "Multiply the length by the breadth. The area of this 
square would be nine square inches." 

T. "Right; I shall put '9 square inches ' in the center of 
the square. How many little squares each containing one 
square inch are there in the large square?" 

P. "Nine." 

The other squares are then treated in the same way, and with 
little less detail. The terms are reviewed in each instance, and 
the answers are obtained from different pupils in every case. 

T. "Count the squares upon this side." (Pointing to the 
base.) " And upon this side ? " (Pointing to the perpendicular.) 
"How many altogether?" 

P. "Twenty -five squares." 

Comparison and Abstraction. T. "But this is the same as 
the number that I had upon the hypotenuse. Now if I knew 
that there were twenty-five squares on the hypotenuse, and 


nine squares on the perpendicular, how could I find how many 
would be on the base?" 

P. "You could subtract nine squares from twenty-five 
squares, and you would know that there were sixteen squares 
on the base." 

T. "And if I knew that there were twenty-five squares on 
the hypotenuse and sixteen on the base, how could I find the 
number on the perpendicular?" 

P. "You could subtract sixteen from twenty-five. You 
would have nine squares on the base." 

T. "What is the square of three?" 

P. "Nine." 

T. "What is the square of four?" 

P. "Sixteen." 

T. "What is the sum of the squares?" 

P. "Twenty-five." 

T. "What is the square root of twenty-five?" 

P. "Five." 

T. "What is the square of five?" 

P. "Twenty-five." 

r. "What is the square of three?" 

P. "Nine." 

T. " What is the difference of the squares?" 

P. "Sixteen." 

The same questions are asked with respect to the difference 
between twenty-five and sixteen. Different pupils answer the 
different questions at the request of the teacher. The teacher 
then reviews the facts very briefly with the pupils. 

Generalization. T. * * How, then , may we find the hypotenuse 
if we know the base and perpendicular?" 

P. "Square the two sides, add, and extract the square 

T. "How may we find one side if we know the hypotenuse 
and the other side?" 


P. ** Square the hypotenuse and the side you know, subtract 
the square of the side you know from the square of the hypote- 
nuse, and extract the square root." 

Other pupils make similar formulations until a general rule 
is obtained that covers all cases. 

Application. T. **Let us see what application we can 
make of this.'' An example is read by the teacher from the 
book : — 

"Base, i6o; perpendicular, i68; hypotenuse?" 

A pupil draws a triangle that will approximately represent 
these conditions. 

r. *'I want some one to put the figures where they belong 
on this triangle." Several pupils volunteer; one is selected 
and does the work correctly. 

T. (To another pupil) : "Right or wrong?" 

P, "Right." 

r. "Why?" 

The pupil quickly explains why the arrangement is correct. 

Two other problems are similarly diagramed and the dia- 
grams labeled, the teacher requiring criticisms in each instance 
and insisting upon the reasons. The first problem is then solved. 
Then others that involve the reverse process are taken up. A 
more concrete problem is next considered : — 

"A boy is flying a kite. The string is one hundred feet long. 
The kite is directly above a point eighty feet from where the boy 
is standing. How high is the kite above the ground?" 

T. (Calling on a pupil): "Put upon the board a cross 
standing for the boy." 

"Put upon the board a cross standing for the kite." 

"For the point directly under the kite." 

"Draw a line corresponding to the string of the kite." 

"To the line connecting the kite and the point on the ground 
immediately beneath it." 

"To the hne connecting this point with the boy." 


"Place the numbers where they belong on the diagram." 
Different pupils do these different things as the questions 
are asked. 

T. "Now how shall I solve this problem?" 
The solution is sketched by a pupil, although the operations 
are not actually made. 

One or two other problems, taken from the book, are dia- 
gramed in a similar manner, and the teacher then assigns 
several additional problems for home work. 

The lesson, of which the above account is practically an 
exact transcript, occupied forty minutes, and is a typical 
example of the inductive development lesson functioning as 
an assignment in arithmetic. 

8. In some cases a direct interest may be aroused in 
the subject-matter through the skillful stimulation of the 
instinct of curiosity. Many lessons which the pupil would 
otherwise attack listlessly and ineffectively may be so art- 
fully introduced through an anecdote or some personal 
allusion that the pupils will wish to read the material as 
quickly as possible. 

An example of such an assignment is represented by the 
following incident which was related to the writer by one of 
the ablest schoolmen in the country. In teaching a beginning 
class in United States history, he had been in the habit of making 
rather elaborate assignments, but when the topic of Arnold's 
treason was reached, he changed his policy, and assigned the 
lesson somewhat as follows: "The next few pages of the book 
tell about a very mean man. I do not think that I have ever 
heard of another man so mean and contemptible as he was. 
I don't know that it will pay us to spend very much time on 
this man; but, after all, it was a rather pathetic case, and 


you might read it over this evening.'' The teacher character- 
ized the next day's recitation as the best that he had ever 
secured from any class in history. 

Assignments of this type will probably not be made very 
frequently, for the reason that opportunities for stimulating 
curiosity do not often occur. A more extended use can be 
made, however, of an acquired interest that is closely 
related to instinctive curiosity. Pupils may be led to 
infer what events might happen under certain conditions 
and then sent to the text-books to verify or disprove their 

This type of assignment involves what the writer has termed 
the ''deductive development lesson,"^ and is perhaps most 
frequently to be applied in geography and history. In the 
former subject, for example, the assignment of a lesson on 
England would consist of a map study of England. From 
this study the pupils would be led to infer such facts as the 
climate, productions, occupations of the people, etc. Having 
made these inferences, the text-books could be consulted in 
order to determine how close the pupils had come to the real 
facts. This general method is also important in that it gives 
wide scope for the effective employment of reference books 
other than the regular text. In history, pupils may be encour- 
aged to make inferences as to the next move that an army 
would make, or the next step that a statesman would take in 
carrying out a given policy, and then referred to the text for 
verification of the inference. Care must, of course, be taken 
to prevent such exercises from lapsing into mere guesswork; 
properly handled, however, they furnish an incentive for 
effective study that could hardly be gained in any other way. 

* Cf. The Educative Process, ch. xx. 


9. In assigning selections of literature for reading it is 
frequently necessary to give a general account of the 
"setting" of the selection. Thus the selection may be 
taken from a more extended work, or it may have reference 
to some historical event. In either case, the reading will 
be rendered more intelligible if the "setting" is described 
in some detail. 

In a reader used in the fifth grade, Lincoln's Gettysburg 
address is given. The writer attempted to have fifth-grade 
pupils read this under the ordinary method of assignment, 
"Take your readers, turn to page 65, and study this lesson." 
He found the results so inadequate that he had the pupils close 
their books, and then he told them the story of Gettysburg, 
making as clear as possible 'the situation between the North 
and the South, showing the decisive character of the battle, 
and dwelling briefly upon the tremendous loss of life that was 
involved, and the general significance of the victory. All this 
was necessary in order to show why an occasion had arisen for 
Lincoln's address. Then he went through the text, carefully 
explaining the allusions and assigning the reading for the next 
lesson. The pupils worked at it during the study period and 
came to the recitation well prepared. Since that time he has 
made it a practice always to have masterpieces of literature 
carefully assigned and frequently read aloud to the class before 
setting the pupils to work upon them independently.* 

10. The assignment very infrequently takes the form of 
a formal lecture, covering points developed in the text. 
This procedure would generally be regarded in elementary 

* The reading of a literary masterpiece to the pupils before assigning 
it for study is recommended by Chubb. Cf. Teaching of English 
pp. 99 £f. 


education as "soft pedagogy," although, strange to say, it 
is perhaps the most common method of teaching in the 
colleges and universities, where many introductory courses 
are nothing more nor less than lectures on a text-book 
which is in the students* hands, and which they cover in 
parallel readings. In elementary education such a pro- 
cedure is eminently in place in introducing the more difficult 
conceptions of physical geography, where objective demon- 
stration through globes, tellurians, etc., is essential to the 
pupils* understanding of the subject. After a demon- 
stration of this sort, accompanied by the descriptive "lec- 
ture," the pupil is given the text-book and assigned the 
lesson which treats of the same principles. 

II. In general, it may be concluded that much of the 
time which young pupils waste in attempting to "get 
lessons" out of text-books could be saved and turned to 
educative use if the lessons were skillfully and properly 
assigned. The careful assignment offers a safe compro- 
mise between the German method of oral instruction and 
the American method of book instruction; it provides a 
field of appHcation for the inductive and deductive develop- 
ment lessons ; in short, it is the field in which the skillful 
and efficient teacher does most of his real teaching or in- 
structing. It is not without its dangers; subject-matter 
may possibly be made too easy for the pupil ; but, in view 
of the inadequate results in the common use of text-books, 
it would appear that the danger line is far in the distance. 
Opponents of elaborate assignments tell us that the pupil 
gains strength by overcoming difficulties, and that he should 


attack the printed page without help and get out of it what 
he can. And yet every teacher of experience in elementary 
school work will testify that pupils who are treated by this 
method almost invariably come to recitation unprepared, 
and all will agree that it is unjust to hold pupils responsible 
for something that must necessarily be vague, hazy, and 
obscure to them. The natural result is that the teacher 
who does not teach in the assignment is forced to teach in 
the recitation. He must go over the lesson at that time, 
clearing up the points that should have been cleared up 
before the pupils attacked the text. Under these con- 
ditions, pupils soon come to know that, if they do not mas- 
ter the text, the teacher will recite it for them, and the 
most important stimulus to effort — the idea of respon- 
sibility for results — is eliminated. It is this condition 
that makes text-book work on the whole so inadequate. 
With a careful assignment, however, pupils can be held 
rigidly responsible for the mastery of the text, and the 
recitation becomes a word with a meaning. 

12. (b) The Study Lesson. The appHcation of the 
pupils in their period of seat work tests the efficiency of 
the assignment. One of the surest indices of a teacher's 
abiUty is the dihgence of the study class. Indeed, the ex- 
pert and experienced supervisor will always look first at the 
study class. If these pupils are working vigorously and v^dth 
evident efficiency, he turns his attention to the class that is 
reciting. The prime test of a teacher is not the manner in 
which he conducts a recitation, but the growth that his pu- 
pils make in ability to work efficiently without supervision. 


13. The Technique oj the Study Lesson. However skill- 
ful the assignment may be, it should not be entirely de- 
pended upon to secure the apphcation of the pupils during 
the study period. It was said above that the main difficulty 
in holding the attention to the printed page is the lack of 
sensory variety in the material which the page presents. 
The technique of the study lesson must, therefore, do 
something to counteract this difficulty — it must intro- 
duce variety of sensory stimulus. 

(i) Study Questions. When the pupil first begins to use 
text-books, it is well to furnish study questions that will 
aid him during the study period to pick out the saUent 
points treated in the text. There are two types of such 
questions: these may be termed for convenience the 
"fact" questions and the "thought" questions. Certain 
points of the text may be selected and questions asked 
which can be answered by reference to these points. Thus 
the central thought of each paragraph may be indicated 
by a question. If the paragraph is long and involved, 
several subordinate questions may be included to cover 
the details. Questions of the "thought" type aim to 
secure the original reaction of the pupils upon points that 
may later serve as centers for discussion. In history, for 
example, the pupil may be asked to form an estimate of 
a certain character, or to tell why a certain policy would 
be good or bad. In geography, he may be encouraged to 
think out the reasons for the facts presented in the text, 
why New York has become a large city, why New Orleans 
is an important shipping point, etc. 


The following suggestions, taken from the Illinois ** Course 
of Study," indicate questions that may be used in the study of 
the reading lesson: "In the preparation for the lesson, let the 
teacher assign definite questions, having a care that her ques- 
tions are suggestive enough and not too suggestive. Sugges- 
tions: For enlarging the pupil's vocabulary, for giving him 
fresh thoughts and a feeling for literary expression, the teacher 
may ask questions that require the pupil to answer in the words 
of the author; as, he may be asked to give the words and phrases 
that describe Rip Van Winkle, Miles Standish, or the characters 
in Snow-Bound^ or that make a scene real and beautiful to 
him. How does he know that Sleepy Hollow is a sleepy place ? 
Just what things make Ichabod Crane exultant as he looks over 
the Van Tassel farm? Let him select the pictures in the 
lesson and tell in detail what he sees in them. . . . He may 
also be asked to pick out the comparisons applied to the char- 
acters and to the objects in nature and explain the point of 
comparison. Thus the pupil may early come to a conscious 
appreciation of truthful and effective expression." (pp. 60-61.) 

The writer has found by actual test that it is much better 
to have the questions placed upon the blackboard than to 
have them printed at the end of the lessons in the text. 
If the texts furnish suggestive questions or topics, the 
teacher is advised to copy them upon the blackboard for 
use during the study period. The alternation of attention 
between the printed page and the blackboard tends, un- 
doubtedly, to introduce a superficial variety of stimulus 
and movement that helps in the concentration of atten- 
tion. Whatever the explanation, however, there is no 
doubt that the blackboard questions hold the attention 
more adequately. 


After the pupils have gained some skill in studying the text 
by means of suggestive questions, they may be encouraged to 
make out lists of questions which shall embody the salient 
points of the text. This is an extremely serviceable device, 
for it requires that the pupil study the text carefully in order 
to make out intelKgent questions. Occasionally, a pupil hav- 
ing a good list may be permitted to " quiz " the class. 

14. (2) Study Topics. Study questions will at first be 
detailed and concrete; they will gradually become more 
and more condensed and schematic as the pupil becomes 
more and more familiar with their use, until finally they 
develop into mere statements of the topics. If the pupils 
are accustomed to the logical arrangement of questions, — 
main questions, subordinate questions, etc., — the logical 
arrangement of topics will not trouble them. Gradually, 
also, they may be led to *' skeletonize" the lessons for 
themselves, at first writing out the topics in logical order 
and later gaining the ability to hold the topics in mind 
as they proceed with their reading. When the pupils have 
gained this ability, they have, of course, acquired the art 
of study. Proceeding in this systematic way from de- 
tailed and concrete questions to schematic questions, then 
to topics, the pupil can hardly fail to acquire a standard 
method of attacking the printed page. It has been the 
writer's experience that, unless this matter is taken up 
explicitly and systematically, the progress of pupils in 
all text-book work will be slow and halting.^ 


^ " There is a definite pedagogical problem in teaching to study . . , 
but the problem is being largely neglected in current educational practice. 
. . . Pupils should be taught to study from the time they enter the pri- 


15. Written Work in the Study Period. As a general 
rule, the work of the study period in text-book subjects 
should be so organized as to demand a minimum of writ- 
ten work from the pupil. The pupil should be encouraged 
to get on without the aid of pen or pencil. This proposal 
will seem quite out of harmony with existing practice, for 
almost every study period in our pubUc schools is domi- 
nated by the pencil and paper. The grievous error of this 
practice lies^ in the inadequate writing habits that it in- 
volves. It is generally agreed that our pupils do far too 
much writing, and especially too much careless writing. 
The result is that the formation of good habits in this 
regard is almost an impossibiUty. The practice of hold- 
ing the attention of the pupils by demanding writing is 
also to be criticised because it fails to develop ideals of 
silent 'study — concentration upon the '* thought" of the 
text, ability to hold in mind a long series of topics without 
resorting to pen or pencil, ability to work without objec- 
tive aids. 

16. {c) The Recitation Lesson. The work of the reci- 
tation should test both the efficiency of the study period 
and the efficiency of the assignment. In order to be 
maximally effective, it should be dominated by this funda- 
mental precept : Hold the pupil rigidly responsible in the 
recitation for whatever tasks were set }or him in the assign- 

mary, but more and more attention should be given to the matter as they 
advance upward in the grades, and more attention should be given to it 
in the high school and college. Here the 'how' to study becomes at 
least of as much importance as the 'what.' " — W. C. Ruediger: "How 
to Study," in Inter-Mountain Educator, 1906, vol. i, p. 161. 


ment. Unless this principle is adhered to strictly, the 
most skillful assignments and the most artful devices for 
the study period will be a waste of time and energy. 

17. The recitation usually takes one or another of two 
forms: (i) the question-and-answer recitation; (2) the 
topical recitation. The former is the simpler in that the 
pupil is held responsible for separate facts, not for holding 
in mind the relations that bind separate facts together. 
All text-book recitations are necessarily of the question- 
and-answer type at the outset, the questions asked being 
detailed and concrete. As the pupil gains in proficiency, 
however, the questions (which correspond closely to the 
study questions discussed above) become more and more 
comprehensive, demanding that the pupil hold in mind a 
larger and larger number of facts, and express them in a 
connected and coherent fashion. Finally the recitation 
passes over to the topical form, in which the mere state- 
ment of the topic by the teacher initiates a full and com- 
plete discussion of that topic by the pupil. This type of 
recitation can be required in all grades above the fifth 
(and in some recitations in the earlier grades), provided 
that the pupils have had an adequate training in the art 
of study. 

One of the tests of a teacher's efficiency in the upper grades 
is the freedom of his recitation work from ''pumping questions.'* 
In many recitations one will hear a series of questions like 
the following : Who discovered America ? When ? Of what 
country was Columbus a native? What country aided him 
in discovering America ? What difficulty did he have with his 


sailors? etc. Each of these questions can be answered either 
by a single word or by a brief sentence. They require a mini- 
mum of mental activity on the part of the pupils. If one hears 
such questions as these in an eighth-grade class, one may safely 
infer that the teacher is not thoroughly alive to the possibilities 
of recitation work. It would be much better to ask a single 
question like this: "Give a brief account of the discovery of 
America." If pupils have been inadequately trained, it may 
be necessary to indicate in greater detail the points to be in- 
cluded in the discussion: "Give a brief account of the dis- 
covery of America, telling who made the discovery, the country 
of which this man was a native, the country that sent him out, 
and the troubles that he encountered." The pupil is then 
required to hold the various points in mind, and to express 
himself coherently. 

1 8. In order to secure the attention of all pupils to every 
topic it is well to observe some simple rules regarding the 
conduct of the recitation: (i) State the topic or ask the 
question first, then wait a short time before calling upon a 
pupil to recite. (2) Avoid calling upon pupils in any 
definite and uniform order; be sure that all pupils think 
out an answer to every question or a statement for every 
topic. (3) Occasionally interrupt a pupil before he has 
completed a recitation and ask another to continue the 
discussion from that point. (4) Encourage by some form 
of commendation all exceptionally good efforts on the 
part of pupils to make complete and coherent statements ; 
discourage in some effective manner all "scamped" or 
inadequate work. (5) Do not help pupils in the recita- 
tion ; if the entire class is obscure upon the point at issue, 


reassign it with a more complete explanation, holding the 
pupils responsible for its mastery at the next recitation; 
if a single pupil is obscure upon any given point, do 
not take class time to help him out; rather provide a 
period when he can be given individual aid. 

The last precept involves individual instruction, which will 
be more fully discussed in the following chapter. It is sufficient 
here to note that a great deal of time is wasted in recitations 
by redeveloping some point or principle about which one pupil 
is uncertain. The other pupils, understanding the principle, 
have no incentive for following the discussion. The writer 
has observed a recitation in which ten minutes were spent in 
clearing up a point that one pupil and only one had failed to 
grasp in the previous assignment. There were twenty pupils 
in the class, not one of whom was attentive after the first few 
minutes of the redevelopment. At least one hundred minutes 
in the aggregate were thus wasted. The only way in which 
to eliminate such waste is to provide some time for individual 
work with backward pupils. 

References. — B. A. Hinsdale: Art of Study, New York, 1900, 
ch. x; Seeley: A New School Management, ch. xvi; Dutton: School 
Management, chs. xi, xii, xiii ; C. De Garmo : Interest and Education^ 
New York, 1903, chs. xii, xiii; J. A. H. Keith: Elementary Edu- 
cation, chs. viii, ix. 


The ''Batavia System" of Class-individual 

I. The class system, which has come to dominate 
formal education, possesses certain advantages over an in- 
dividual system of instruction, (a) It is more economical 
in its maintenance (and this is, of course, the chief reason 
for its extensive use), (b) It involves in itself a certain 
educative influence in that it teaches the subordination 
of individual impulses to the welfare of the class as a 
whole, (c) Its greatest advantage, however, lies in the 
stimulus that is gained from competition, emulation, and 
the group interests. 

On the other hand, the class system involves some dis- 
advantages that may, under some conditions, quite over- 
balance its desirable qualities, (a) It may lose sight 
entirely of individual differences, becoming a "machine" 
in the worst sense of the term, (b) It tends to impart 
instruction with reference to an ideal "average child," who 
may have no existence in reality, (c) It may involve con- 
ditions that are injurious to the health of the weaker pupils 
in the worry and overstrain that result from an attempt 
to keep "up to grade." (d) It undoubtedly tends to dis- 
courage a certain proportion of pupils and to keep them 
from continuing with the work of the school. 



2. It is clear, therefore, that some form of compromise 
between individual and class instruction is essential to the 
best work of the school. Furthermore, it is clear that any 
readjustment, to be practicable, must not be too radical. 
The existing machinery of the educational system must 
be employed, but some steps should be taken to render its 
operation more efficient. A system of pure individual 
instruction is obviously impracticable and is also to be 
condemned because it would eliminate the stimulus that 
comes with group activity. 

It is hardly necessary to say that formal education began 
with what we now call individual instruction. As late as 
1843, according to Landon, there were still 5844 primary 
schools in France organized in this way: "The master con- 
ducted and taught the whole school himself, if of moderate 
size, or a division where the school was too large for single 
management. He remained at his desk, or rostrum, and 
called up the pupils, one by one, to repeat the lesson learned, 
or to receive any help or explanation needed. . . . The teach- 
ing or questioning was directed to each pupil alone, the rest of 
the children not participating in any way in the work. In 
time a modification was introduced in most cases, a whole 
class being called up and the pupils taken in turn. Even 
here, however, there was no * class teaching,' as we understand 
the term." ^ 

3. What is now known as the " Batavia system " of 
"class-individual" instruction is perhaps the most suc- 
cessful method yet devised of effecting a compromise 
between the individual and class methods. In essence, 

* J. Landon: School Management, Boston, 1884, p. 119. 


this system aims to preserve the stimulus which comes 
from group-instruction, and, at the same time, to provide 
explicitly and systematically for whatever extra instruction 
the weaker members of the class may need to keep them 
abreast of the brighter members. 

The Batavia system owes its origin to John Kennedy, super- 
intendent of the public schools of Batavia, a small city in western 
New York. The "discovery" of the system was in one sense 
the restilt of an accident. The older school buildings of 
Batavia were constructed with classrooms capable of seating 
from sixty to seventy pupils. In 1898 it was thought necessary 
to employ an additional teacher in order to accommodate an 
increase in the number of pupils. The rooms, however, were 
all occupied, and it did not seem advisable at the time to con- 
struct a new building. Mr. Kennedy proposed placing the 
additional teacher in one of the larger classrooms, and then 
filling this classroom to the limit of its seating capacity. He 
suggested that one of the teachers could take charge of the 
class work, while the other could look after the needs of indi- 
vidual pupils. The suggestion was adopted as an experiment. 
The results were so unexpectedly good, that other large class- 
rooms were supplied with two teachers under the same divi- 
sion of labor. A marked improvement was noted in all of 
these cases, and soon the system of "class-individual" instruc- 
tion was made general throughout the city. 

4. The virtues of the Batavia system may be summarized 
as follows: (i) It makes individual instruction a definite 
part of the regular school work. In nearly every school 
individual instruction finds a place, but not a definite 
place; the teacher attempts to "work up" the weaker 
pupils after school, or at such moments as he may snatch 

THE "bat A VIA SYSTEM" 21 7 

during the regular school session. The Batavia system 
makes individual instruction coordinate in importance 
with class instruction, assigning it a definite place upon 
the daily program, and subjecting it to a systematic and 
orderly treatment. 

(2) The Batavia system provides that individual instruc- 
tion shall be given by teachers who are just as competent 
as those giving class instruction. In other words, the work 
of individual instruction is- not given over to novices or 
apprentices. It is not intrusted to pupil-teachers or 
monitors as in the case of the Bell-Lancaster system, which 
had so wide a vogue in England a century ago. 

(3) The Batavia system requires the development of a 
technique of individual instruction which differs in many 
respects from the technique of class instruction, and 
which is absolutely necessary to the success of the system. 
This special technique is governed by two general prin- 
ciples: (a) The initiative in individual instruction must 
always be taken by the teacher; that is, the pupil is not 
permitted to ask for aid, but the teacher must discover 
his weakness and proffer aid. (b) All individual instruc- 
tion must be given by the development method; that is, 
a weak pupil is strengthened by helping him to help him- 
self ; direct instruction is forbidden. 

5. These principles are intended to safeguard individual 
instruction against the danger by which it is very obviously 
menaced; namely, that the weaker pupils will be still 
further weakened by a "coaching'' process that does 
nothing whatsoever for their real education. The Batavia 


system without the check of some such principles as these 
would be apt to degenerate into a most pernicious form of 
"soft pedagogy." In the Batavia schools this tendency 
is still further checked by a rigid examination system. 
Tests are prepared by the superintendent at the close of 
each term, and all promotions are made upon the basis of 
these tests. This examination system operates through all 
the grades. It should also be remarked that the "form" 
work is strongly emphasized in the Batavia schools; 
reading, spelling, arithmetic, and formal language work 
are all undertaken very strenuously and with noticeably 
good results. This poHcy would, also tend to check any 
weakening or "softening" influences that may be inherent 
in individual instruction. 

6. The main argument in favor of the system, however, 
lies in the fact that it actually accompUshes (in the Batavia 
schools, at least) that which it sets out to accomplish. The 
"backward pupil" is eliminated, not by casting him out of 
school, but by developing him up to the level of the brighter 
pupils. Some good results may be found in almost every 
school, but in the Batavia schools the results are uniformly 
good with all pupils. Every pupil, so far as the visitor 
can learn, is either "up to grade" or practically so, for 
the moment that he begins to lose ground, the individual 
recitation period brings him up. At the present time, 
even under the rigid system of final examinations, there 
are practically no failures in promotion. Superintendent 
Kennedy also asserts that a large number of pupils are 
able to do two years' work in one, and that, in at least two 


instances, an entire class has done the work of the 
seventh and eighth grades in a single year. 

Other evidences of the success of the system are the high 
per cent of attendance, the large number of pupils who 
remain in school through the full course, the large pro- 
portion of boys in the high school (over fifty per cent), and 
the freedom of the pupils and teachers from nervous dis- 
orders — a condition that is attributed to the fact that the 
system largely eliminates the "worry" that is so often 
involved in the common system. 

7. Applicability 0} the Batavia System. To apply the 
Batavia system to the work of any school, it is necessary to 
take but two steps: (i) provide definite periods for indi- 
vidual instruction; (2) impart individual instruction ac- 
cording to the principles named above. On the surface, 
the first condition may perhaps seem the more difficult of 
fulfillment ; as a matter of fact, it is by far the simpler of 
the two. Contrary to general belief, the Batavia system 
does not demand the presence of two teachers in every 
classroom. The general method can be applied in one- 
teacher rooms, and is so applied in more than half of the 
Batavia classrooms. 

The appHcation of the system to one-teacher rooms is 
made possible by what may be termed a "doubly-alter- 
nating" program. For example, if the regular program 
provides for five recitation periods each week in geography, 
each alternate recitation period is given over to the indi- 
vidual instruction of the weaker members of the class. If 
the recitation period to-day is given over to class work, the 



recitation period to-morrow will be given over to indi- 
vidual instruction ; the pupils requiring individual instruc- 
tion are called to the teacher's desk one at a time, the other 
pupils meanwhile working independently at their seats as 
they would during the study period. 

The double alternation is provided in this way: if the 
geography recitation period of to-day is given over to 
individual work, the following recitation period of to-day, 
say in arithmetic, will be given over to class work; that 
is, under normal conditions, there will not be two indi- 
vidual periods in immediate succession. 

The illustrative program given on page 63 may be arranged 
for individual work as follows. (The morning periods alone 
are given here.) 



"A" Class 

"B" Class 

9: 00- 9: 10 


Opening exercises 

Opening exercises 

9 ; 10- 9 : 20 


S. spelling 

S. spelling 

9 : 20- 9 : 30 


R. spelling (indiv.) 

R. speUing (indiv.) 



R. reading (class) 

S. arithmetic 



S. arithmetic 

R. arithmetic (class) 

10; 15-10: 30 








10: 45-11 : 10 


R. arithmetic (indiv.) 

S. reading 

II : lo-ii : 30 


S. geography 

R. reading (indiv.) 

11: 30-11: 50 


R. geography (class) 

S. geography 

II : 50-12: 00 


Physical culture 

Physical culture 

"Indiv.," individual recitation; "class," class recitation; "S," study 
period; "R," recitation period. 


On the following day the subjects designated as individual 
recitation periods in the above program will be devoted to class 
recitations, and vice versa. 

Under this plan of double alternation the system may 
be appHed to the work of any classroom, irrespective of 
the number of classes in the room or of the number of 
recitation periods of the day. Thus it is just as appli- 
cable to the ungraded rural school as to the graded city 

It would, of course, be possible to introduce other forms of 
alternation; thus every third recitation period may be given 
over to individual work, or every fifth period. As long as a 
definite school period is explicitly assigned lor individual work, 
the essential condition of the Batavia system has been fulfilled. 
The results in Batavia would seem to indicate, however, that 
the best results are obtained where the recitation periods are 
equally divided between class and individual recitations. 

8. One of the most serious drawbacks to the application 
of the system in one-teacher classrooms is the difficulty of 
supplying independent work for the pupils who are not 
undergoing individual instruction. It will be noted that 
the difficulties of the study period (already serious enough) 
are greatly augmented by this system. The need, there- 
fore, of careful assignments of seat work for the majority 
of the class is paramount, and for this reason a well- 
developed technique of class instruction, especially with 
reference to the assignment, is obviously of great impor- 
tance in the application of the Batavia system. Care 
must also be taken not to overemphasize written work, 


which will be the line of least resistance in supplying 
independent tasks. 

The following suggestions have been made by Superintendent 
Kennedy * as possible guides for teachers who introduce his 
system into their schools : — 

"(i) Do not give individual instruction on forthcoming 
lessons. Train the children to be self-reliant lesson getters. 

"(2) Do not tell the child anything, but see that he knows 
it. . . . The danger of individual teaching is that it may be 
treated as a labor-saving device. 

" (3) Do not do anything for the child but see that he does 
it. Individual teaching is not to level mountains. It is to 
make brave and capable mountain climbers. Correct indi- 
vidual teaching treats the difficulty (or mountain) as an educa- 
tional opportunity." 

These restrictions should be understood as applying solely 
to individual instruction, and stand as safeguards against the 
dangers of such instruction. They should not be interpreted 
to mean that the teacher is to do no direct teaching, but rather 
that this would best be confined to class work. The danger in 
individual instruction is to give too much help; the danger 
in class instruction is to give too little — especially in the 
assignment of independent work. 

The following suggestions are taken from a circular issued 
by a Minnesota superintendent who recently introduced the 
Batavia system into his schools : — 

"Keep the guiding aims steadily in view. 

''See that assignments of work for the class in the individual 
period are clear and definite. Assignments of work should 
always provide for methods of work as well as amount. 

''Use the individual period to give the pupil a grasp of prin- 
ciples, not to aid him in getting his next lesson. 

^ J. Kennedy, in Educational Work, 1906, vol. ii, p. 49. 


"Make notes in the recitation period, and, at other times, of 
help needed. Make notes at other times as to help given and 
pupils' characteristics. 

"Use the individual instruction period to bring into line 
pupils who have been absent. 

"Do not hurry in attempting to help too many pupils in one 

"Make the plan for yourself a means of growth in power 
and not merely the adoption of a device." ^ 

9. It may be concluded that, while the Batavia system 
is still in the experimental stage, it promises to effect a suc- 
cessful compromise between class and individual instruc- 
tion, preserving the valuable features of each and elimi- 
nating some of the disadvantages of both. It must, 
however, be applied with a full recognition of its pitfalls. 
It requires teachers of skill and scholarship for its effec- 
tive application. It demands the elaboration of a special 
technique of individual instruction, and requires that this 
be combined with an equally effective and specialized 
technique of class instruction. It may eliminate some of 
the worry incidental to the class system, but it must not 
be looked upon as a "royal road to learning," nor must 
it be thought of as eliminating in any degree the struggle 
and effort that are always essential to mental growth. Its 
value will be greatest in those schools that are domi- 
nated by high ideals of scholarship ; and least in schools 
that are already committed to " soft pedagogy." 

* S. Smyser: " Batavia Plan Circular," reprinted in Educational Work, 
1906, vol. ii, p. 60. 


References. — Landon: School Management, pp. 11^-16$; But- 
ton : School Management, ch. vi ; Thoradike : Principles oj Teachings 
ch. vi ; P. W. Search : The Ideal School, New York, 1905, chs. i, iii, vii ; 
J. Kennedy: "The Need of Individual Instruction," in Addresses 
and Proceedings, National Educational Association, 1901, pp. 295- 
300, with discussions of Mr. Kennedy's paper by J. F. Millspaugh, 
G. Stanley Hall, A. K. Whitcomb, Delos Fall, T. M. Balliet, and 
J. Kennedy, pp. 301-303; Educational Work, a monthly journal 
devoted to the Batavia system, edited by W. H. Holmes, Jr., and 
published at Worcester, Mass. 

Testing Results 

I. The ultimate test of the efficiency of effort is the 
result of effort. Unhappily this test is seldom applied to 
the work of teaching. We judge the teacher by the 
process rather than by the product, and we introduce a 
number of extraneous criteria to hide the absence of a 
real criterion. We watch the way in which he conducts 
a recitation, note how many sHps he makes in his diction 
and syntax, inspect his personal appearance, ask of what 
school he is a graduate and how many degrees he pos- 
sesses, inquire into his moral character, determine his 
church membership, and judge him to be a good or a poor 
teacher according to our findings. All of these queries 
may have their place in the estimation of any teacher's 
worth, but they do not strike the most saHent, the most 
vital, point at issue. That point is simply this : does he 
**make good" in results? Does he do the thing that he 
sets out to do, and does he do it well ? 

It will be objected that this is an impossible criterion, — 
that the influences of the teacher's work can be determined 
only after his pupils have attained maturity and have 
demonstrated their fitness or unfitness for the duties of 
life; and at that time who can lay the responsibiHty of 
failure to your door or mine ? Or perhaps it will be urged 

Q 225 


that the real results of teaching are too complex and in- 
tangible ever to be weighed or measured by any method 
that finite mind can devise. Both of these objections must, 
in some measure, be sustained, and yet the situation is not 
nearly so hopeless as either statement would make it appear. 

2. Taking either social efficiency or ''moral character" 
as the ultimate end of education (and, from the practical 
standpoint, the two may be considered as synonymous), 
it is clear that the product of the school must fulfill some 
fairly definite and tangible conditions if his education is 
to be adjudged successful. 

(a) In the first place, he must possess a certain capital 
of habit — or, better, he must possess a certain number 
of habits. These are essential to all who are to live a so- 
cial life among other civiHzed men and women. There is 
nothing indefinite or intangible about this requirement. 
The necessary habits can be labeled and enumerated, and 
their formation during childhood can be prosecuted sys- 
tematically and in graded steps, so that, at the end of each 
year, each month, each week, even, the teacher may test 
with reasonable accuracy his work in this respect. 

3. (b) In the second place, the product of the school 
must possess a certain capital of knowledge, — a basis 
in facts and principles for the judgments that will be 
necessary in the meeting and solving of the problems of 
civihzed life. Of what facts and principles this knowl- 
edge should best consist, educators are not in entire agree- 
ment. But this disagreement does not prevent whatever 
teaching may be devoted to the impressing of facts and 


principles frorti being tested with a fair degree of accuracy, 
for in this field, too, the various items can be enumerated 
and labeled, and presented systematically and in graded 
steps. The pupil may be examined from week to week, 
or from month to month, or from year to year, in respect 
of his growth and degree of attainment. The difficulties 
are more numerous than in the case of habit, but they are 
not insurmountable; for, while the situation is intricate 
and involved, it permits of analysis and so makes possible 
a systematic attack. 

4. (c) Finally, every individual who comes out of the 
school must possess a certain capital of ideals — certain 
standards and criteria which are sufficiently colored with 
emotion to make them directive over his conduct. It is 
in attempting to meet this requirement that the actual 
results of teaching are apt to be so intangible and difficult 
of evaluation. And yet here one can at least label and 
enumerate the desired quaUties. One may safely say, 
for example, that the pupil must be inspired with ideals of 
industry, accuracy, carefulness, steadfastness, patriotism, 
culture, cleanliness, truth, self-sacrifice, social service, and 
personal honor. It is true that one can];iot tell in any 
specific case whether all or any of these ideals have been 
effectively implanted ; a youth may give every evidence of 
being imbued with them, and still prove himself unfaithful 
in the ultimate test. 

And yet, although the situation here is much more com- 
plex and involved than in the two preceding instances, it 
is still far from hopeless. We may be tolerably certain of 


this, at least : the great ideals have their origin in specific 
habits, and habits can be rigidly tested. Farther than 
this, perhaps, we may not go, except to do all in our power 
to generalize the specific habits on the basis of ideals 
through whatever means may be at our command, — 
literature, history, art, biography, objective example. 
But the necessary basis of habit is under our control, and 
without that all else will be but little more than senti- 
mental froth. 

The common acceptance of "moral character" as the aim 
of education has this defect: it is so large a conception that 
those who propose it as the aim of education are apt to become 
confused in determining the means that will work best toward 
its attainment. And yet moral character certainly presupposes 
as its basis a multitude of effective specific habits. To para- 
phrase an ancient proverb one may safely say, "Take care of 
the habits, and moral character will take care of itself." This 
is not quite true, of course, for the factor of ideals must be 
reckoned with; but it is at least as true as the proverb which 
it paraphrases — and that is saying a great deal. But again, one 
must guard against the danger of using the term "habit" in 
too general a fashion. Character or social efficiency does not 
rest upon habit in general nor upon generalized habit; it 
rests upon a vast number of little, specific habits: the habit 
of saying "four" when the formula "two times two " is given; 
the habit of saying "I shall" when simple futurity is to be 
implied; the habit of bathing at regular intervals; of brushing 
one's teeth; of blackening one's shoes ; of speaking distinctly; 
of speaking in a pleasant tone; of speaking courteously; of 
not speaking at all when others are speaking ; of moving grace- 
fully; of remaining motionless under certain conditions; of 
writing legibly; of taking off one's hat to one's elders and to 


ladies; of giving precedence to women when passing through 
a doorway; of standing erect and looking one's interlocutor in 
the eye; of working steadfastly at this task or that until it is 
completed; of breathing properly; of repressing the impulse 
to yawn, the impulse to strike, and a hundred other impulses 
that nature never intended to be repressed, and yet the habitual 
repression of which is essential to civilized life. One could 
perhaps be "moral" if some of these habits were lacking; 
we know that one could not be socially efficient, and we doubt 
whether one could be moral if all of these habits had failed of 

5. It may be concluded, therefore, that, in habit-build- 
ing and in the imparting of knowledge, the efficiency of 
teaching can be accurately and adequately tested at stated 
intervals by any teacher. And it may further be concluded 
that, since ideals must operate on a basis of habit, even this 
phase of the educative process is not to be altogether ex- 
cluded from the sphere of the educational measuring rod. 
It now remains to state explicitly how these tests may be 
made and what standards the teacher shall employ in any 
given case. 

6. Testing the Efficiency of Habit-building, (a) Purely 
Physical Habits. The prime essential in testing the 
growth of any specific habit is to preserve some record 
of results at different stages. This is sometimes easily 
accompUshed, particularly in cases where growth in power 
of written expression is concerned. It is more difficult 
in cases where the teacher must trust to mental images of 
former conditions. For example, in making correct pos- 
ture either in sitting or standing a matter of habit, it is 


often impossible to determine how much gain has been 
made, owing to the fact that the older conditions are not 
present and cannot be recalled with sufi&cient vividness 
to serve the purposes of comparison. 

In a case of this sort, it is well for the teacher to supply 
himself with diagrams showing the proper position, and 
especially with photographs of classrooms where the pupils 
are sitting properly. These will furnish definite standards 
or ideals toward which effort may be directed. For one 
who visualizes freely, nothing is better than to inspect 
some school that is noted for its excellence in this particular. 

The efficiency of habit-building, however, is not alto- 
gether dependent upon the existence of these standards 
or ideals. One must be certain that one's pupils are 
progressing toward the desired end. If the teacher has 
the standard well in mind, he will correct the pupils who 
assume inadequate positions. But if habit-building is to 
be effective, it is manifest that these corrections must 
become fewer and fewer in number as practice continues. 
It is well, therefore, to keep a simple record of the number 
of pupils that need correction each day, and of the number 
of times each day that any particular pupil requires cor- 
rection. This record need not involve any very elaborate 
bookkeeping. A check mark may be made on a pad 
whenever a correction is made, and the names of the more 
troublesome cases can also be written upon this pad and 
checked against. This plan is effective in that it keeps 
the teacher informed as to the efficiency of his efforts. If 
the habits are not being formed, — if corrections seemingly 



have no effect, — it is obvious that other methods must be 

The beginning teacher is apt, at the outset, to consider the 
habits of the pupils as very inadequate and to criticise the 
preceding teacher for leaving pupils in this condition. Later 
in the term, the habits seem very much more commendable, 
and the teacher congratulates himself on the results. Very 
frequently both judgments are unjust and inconsistent with 
the real facts. As the teacher comes to feel more and more 
that he is responsible for existing conditions, he tends unwit- 
tingly to emphasize the good points and to overlook those that 
are not so good. It is also true that pupils seldom do their best 
under a strange]teacher. A certain degree of acquaintance must 
be gained before they can come up to their former standards. 

7. In improving line-movement and similar mechanics 
of the classroom, standards are best gained by visiting 
schools that are especially good in this particular. In 
almost every city system there are one or two schools 
that enjoy a local reputation for good "mechanics." It 
is manifestly impossible to reduce such standards to the 
form of pictures or diagrams. While the routine is in 
process of crystallization, the teacher should reflect every 
day upon the degree of progress that has been made. If 
individual pupils are admonished for failure to do their 
part in preserving Hne-formation, some record should be 
made of the cases, and repetitions of such delinquencies 
should cause the teacher to look carefully into his methods. 
Where linie-movements are a constant source of worry to 
the teacher, month in and month out, something is radically 
wrong with the process. 


8. (b) Written Work. To secure good written work, — 
neat, legible, well arranged, — both on paper and at the 
blackboard, should be one of the earhest endeavors of the 
beginning teacher. Again the first requisite is an adequate 
standard for testing results. The visitation of schools where 
good written work is done will generally furnish one with 
these in abundance; the aim should be, however, either 
to secure papers that represent "first drafts" of the pupils' 
work or to have rewritten and corrected papers distinctly 
marked, so that one will not confuse them with "first 
drafts." In testing the efiiciency of habit-building in this 
particular, it is the ability of the pupil to produce a credit- 
able paper on the first writing that is important. Almost 
every pupil can obtain good results if given time enough 
and permitted to concentrate his attention upon form ; but 
the very thing that we wish to develop is the capacity to 
do neat, legible, and well- arranged work quickly and while 
the attention is concentrated upon content. This is pos- 
sible, however, only through formal exercises in which 
attention to formal matters is the main consideration, but 
the results of such drill should always be tested by refer- 
ence to work in which the pupil uses the form as a means 
to an end. 

This is a matter of extreme importance in the elementary 
school. If one attempts to cultivate habits of neatness, legi- 
bility, and good order in arithmetic or language work, one 
will always notice this phenomenon : after a certain degree of 
excellence has been attained through exercises that are more 
or less formal (that is, through exercises in which the content 


is SO familiar that the pupil may freely concentrate upon the 
form) there will be a falling off in formal excellence whenever 
a new subject is taken up requiring attention to content. For 
example, third -grade pupils are cautioned to "take pains" 
with their papers in arithmetic. As long as the problems are 
those with which they are familiar, a noticeable improvement 
will be made in form; the moment a new and difficult prin- 
ciple is introduced, however, the form immediately "falls off," 
but under the stimulus of the teacher's cautions it "picks up" 
as the pupil gains greater and greater proficiency in the new 
process. The explanation is probably to be sought in the 
psychology of attention. Attention cannot be concentrated 
upon two dissimilar things or processes or adjustments at the 
same time; attention to one thing always involves inattention 
to others. 

This is not to imply, however, that the formal drills have 
been unavailing. The important point is this: the teacher 
should assure himself that each new setback still represents an 
advance over the last setback. When the pupils take up long 
division, for example, the papers for some little time may be 
poorer in appearance than they were just before long division 
was introduced; but they should be better than the papers 
immediately following the introduction of the last new princi- 
ple, although these in turn were of lower standard than those 
immediately preceding the introduction of the principle.^ 

9. To test the results of habit-building in written work, 
therefore, it is well to keep complete sets of papers in all 
subjects and to compare these frequently in order to assure 

* This is one of the most interesting principles that the concrete study 
of school work reveals. The writer has found the phenomenon so con- 
stant in its appearance under the conditions mentioned that he would 
respectfully suggest the general field as one that would amply repay 
scientific investigation by the expert educational psychologist. 


one's self that progress is being made. The most con- 
venient plan is to arrange each pupil's work in bundles, 
beginning with the earliest efforts. As each new paper 
is added to the bundle, it can be carefully compared with 
those preceding, and the advance noted. When new 
content is introduced, the paper immediately following 
the last introduction of new content should be compared 
with it. The advance each day will, of course, be gradual 
— often quite unnoticeable — consequently it is well 
occasionally to take papers that are a month or two 
months apart, where the advancement will be more accu- 
rately measurable.* If no advancement can be detected, 
or if there is a positive retrogression, the case is one 
that calls for an immediate and drastic change of method. 

Professor Kirkpatrick has voiced the same caution in the 
following words: "In directing the formation of habits in 
which improvement with practice is desired, as in learning to 
write and draw, the teacher should be satisfied with the work 
as long as it shows improvement, but should be very careful 
when improvement stops, because one of two undesirable 
results is likely to appear: either the habit with its imperfect 
execution becomes fixed by repetition, so that after a time it is 
almost impossible to change it; or else, when the volitional 
effort to do good work decreases, the execution begins to revert 
back to a less developed stage at which it may then become 
fixed." 2 

* Sets of such papers would form excellent exhibits for educational 
meetings, expositions, etc. As indices of actual school work, they would 
be far more valuable than the laboriously rewritten and shamelessly 
"cooked*' results that commonly make up such exhibits. 

^ E. A. Kirkpatrick: Fundamentals of Child Study, pp. 351 f. 


10. Blackboard Work. Progress in adequate habits of 
blackboard work is rather more difficuh to measure, owing 
to the impracticability of keeping former results for com- 
parison. Standards and ideals can, however, be gained 
from inspection of good schools, and records can be kept 
of the corrections that are necessary. An important ele- 
ment in securing good blackboard results is to discourage 
the frequent use of the eraser. It is safe to lay down a 
general rule that the eraser should not be used except to 
clean the board at the conclusion of the exercise. 

11. {c) Habits of Speech. In testing habit-building 
in oral expression it is again difficult to make accurate 
measurements of progress. The best plan is to take up 
one point at a time, beginning, say, with clear enunciation 
and good articulation. If corrections for lapses in these 
particulars do not decrease daily, the method employed is 
obviously ineffective. With mispronunciations and errors 
in construction, a more accurate record can be made of the 
progress. If one error is attacked at a time, pupils who 
need constant correction can be noted and perhaps sub- 
jected to individual instruction. In any case, these 
specific habits should be taken up systematically and 
drilled upon until perfect automatism results. A good 
course of study usually enumerates the common errors 
in speech that are to be replaced each term with effective 
habits.^ The classroom teacher should arrange these in a 
definite order, so that he will know what to concentrate 

^ The Illinois " Course of Study " and the Montana " Course of 
Study " are especially helpful in this respect. 


upon each week. He should, of course, supplement the list 
from errors that he observes in the course of class work. 
Again it is not sufficient that the pupil know the error and 
the proper form ; too many teachers beheve that efficiency 
in these matters can be adequately tested by a formal ex- 
amination in language. The test, of course, is the habitual 
use of the proper form ; that is, its use on occasions when 
one does not explicitly think about it. The only test here 
is a diminishing number of corrections in the daily expres- 
sion of the pupils. '*I knew, but I didn't think" is one 
of the many inadequate but commonly accepted excuses 
which make scamped work the rule instead of the excep- 
tion in our schools. It simply means that correct expres- 
sion has not been reduced to the plane of automatism, and 
this means that the work of habit-building has not been 

12. {d) Testing Habit-building in Arithmetic, (i) Ac- 
curacy. In making number facts automatic, it is neces- 
sary rigidly to test the results at very frequent intervals 
if wasteful processes are to be eliminated. Several 
methods of testing are available. The best criterion is 
probably the number of mistakes in the written problems 
of the pupils. In applying this test, it is necessary to 
preserve the arithmetic papers and to note the frequency 
vnth which the same combination is erroneously stated in 
the papers of each pupil. The total number of mechanical 
errors made by the entire class should also show a uniform 
decrease as the work progresses. It is probable that the 
number of mechanical errors will slightly increase immedi- 


ately after the introduction of new principles, for the same 
reason that the form receives a setback at such times; 
but these temporary increases should become less and less 
noticeable as the child matures. 

Another method can be applied by noting the proportion 
of pupils who make no errors in a single exercise. This 
number should show a gradual and uniform increase. In 
the oral work (the rapid "mental" solution of both abstract 
and concrete problems) the number of pupils giving in- 
correct answers should become smaller and smaller; it 
is a good plan to keep brief records with regard to these 

13. (2) Rapidity. Efficient number habits must in- 
volve rapidity of combination as well as accuracy, although 
the latter factor is, obviously, of greater importance. After 
the combinations in any series (multipHcation table of 
threes, for example) have been mastered accurately, — 
when 7 times 3 are 21 in the reaction of every pupil with- 
out any doubt, or any temptation on the pupil's part to 
say 22 or 24 or any other number save 21, — drill should 
be initiated for increasing the rapidity of the reaction. One 
very good device for this purpose is to have the table placed 
upon the blackboard by each pupil in the regular order : — 

2x3 = 6 

3 X3 = 9 

4 X 3 = 12, etc. 

With watch in hand, the teacher "times" the pupils in 
this exercise, encouraging competition in rapidity, but 


counteracting the inevitable tendencies toward inaccurate 
results and the careless writing of figures. After writing 
the table in the regular series, the pupils may be directed 
to erase the third column (the "answers") and to rewrite, 
beginning at the bottom. Again the teacher "times" the 
exercise. The pupils may then be directed to erase the 
figures in the first and third columns (the multipHers and 
the answers), the teacher later dictating multipHers in an 
irregular order, and requiring the third column to be filled 
from the top downward. This will check the tendency 
of the pupil always to refer back to the regular series 
in order to get any desired combination. In testing the 
efficiency of this drill, the records of the time consumed 
in each exercise should be preserved. The time should, 
of course, diminish with practice, otherwise the drill is 

14. (e) Spelling. The general inadequacy of the 
methods of teaching spelling as commonly applied in 
the schools has been adequately demonstrated by Corn- 
man ^ in a very notable series of experiments. Dr. 
Cornman came to the conclusion that the "amount 
of time devoted to the specific spelUng drill bears no 
discoverable relation to the result, the latter remaining 
practically constant after the elimination of the spelling 
drill from the school program." This simply means 
that, in Dr. Comman's tests, it was found that formal 

* O. p. Cornman: "Spelling in the Elementary School," in Experi- 
mental Studies in Psychology and Pedagogy (University of Pennsylvania), 
1902, vol. i. Cf. Thorndike: Principles of Teaching, pp. 268-273. 


and separate exercises in spelling had no appreciable 
result. The investigator in question argues from this 
fact that spelling drills should be eliminated and that the 
mastery of spelling should be accompUshed in connec- 
tion with the other school exercises. It should be stated, 
however, that he does not indorse the ''incidental" teach- 
ing of spelling in the usual sense of the term. That is, 
he" would require the pupils to focaHze the form of words, 
and he would provide expHcitly for such focaHzation, but 
he would not devote a specific school exercise to this task. 
One may venture the opinion, however, that the meager 
results of the spelling exercises are due, not to the fact that 
spelling is given a specific place in the school program as 
Dr. Comman impHes, but to inadequate methods of teach- 
ing spelHng during that exercise. As a matter of fact, in 
no school exercise is the inadequate comprehension on the 
part of teachers of the simple principles of educational 
psychology more clearly to be seen. The average spell- 
ing lesson is ineffective because the average teacher fails 
to understand the impHcations of the law of habit-build- 
ing. Words to be spelled effectively must be spelled 
automatically, — that is, without "thinking" of the form 
of the word. To gain this end, however, the form must 
first be focalized and then the appropriate adjustments 
must be repeated attentively until automatism results. 
The average speUing lesson involves a certain amount of 
concentration upon the form, it also involves one or two 
repetitions. At this point, ordinarily, the whole matter 
ends. Very naturally the next time that the pupil meets 


the word in the course of written composition, where he 
is concentrating upon the content rather than the form, he 
misspells the word. 

15. The remedy for this condition lies in an adequate 
application of the law of habit-building. The initial 
focalization must be undertaken more carefully and the 
repetitions must be more numerous and must involve more 
explicit attention. It is insufficient to have misspelled 
words rewritten five or ten or even one hundred times, 
unless one can assure one's self that the repetition thus 
involved is conscious and focal. Words that are mis- 
spelled should be drilled upon, day after day, week after 
week, if necessary, until perfect automatism results. What 
is the test of effective teaching of spelling ? Nothing more 
nor less than the infrequency with which misspelled words 
appear in composition work or other exercises where the 
pupil concentrates upon content. If improvement is shown 
in this respect, the teaching of speUing is obviously effec- 
tive. If improvement is not shown, the teaching is in- 
effective. The composition papers should be kept and 
carefully studied with this end in view. The number of 
misspelled words in each one hundred should be carefully 
computed, and these computations should form the basis 
for judging the efficiency of the formal spelHng lessons. 
Needless to say, these formal lessons should include the 
words that the pupils use in their expressive work, and 
especially the words that are difficult should be repeated 
from day to day in the spelling lesson, until absolutely 
no mistakes occur in the written work. 



As an example of this method of measuring the results of in- 
struction in spelling, the following test may be instanced. Prior 
to November 19, 1906, a ten-minute period was devoted to 
formal spelling in the Training Department of the Oswego 
Normal School. Since that time, the length of the spelling 
period has been doubled, and a specific time has been desig- 
nated for the assignment of the spelling lesson, applying the 
method of assignment indicated in Chapter XIII. The papers 
that the pupils produced in their " story " work in the lower 
grades and in history in the upper grades were used as a basis 
of the test. The per cent of correctly spelled words in the 
papers of November 19th was computed and compared with 
the per cent of correctly spelled words in the papers of January 
4th, 1907. The following table shows the gain made in each 


Correctly spelled, 
Nov. 19 

Correctly spelled, 
Jan. 4 


IV "B" 


per cent 


per cent 


per cent 

IV "A" 


per cent 


per cent 


per cent 

V "B" 


per cent 


per cent 


per cent 

V "B" 


per cent 


per cent 


per cent 

V "A" 


per cent 


per cent 


per cent 

V "A" 


per cent 


per cent 


per cent 

VI "B " 


per cent 


per cent 


per cent 

VI "B" 


per cent 


per cent 


per cent 

VI "A" 


per cent 


per cent 


per cent 

VII "B" 


per cent 


per cent 


per cent 

VII "B" 


per cent 


per cent 


per cent 

VII "A" 


[ per cent 


3 per cent 

0.2 per cent 



per cent 


per cent 


per cent 



per cent 


per cent 


per cent 

of the several rooms in the school, and forms a fair index of 
the efficiency of the instruction in speUing. It should be noted 


that the words forming the material for the spelHng lessons 
were selected from the daily work of the pupils.^ 

1 6. Testing Knowledge. The efficiency of habit-build- 
ing is to be measured by the pupil's abiUty to react ap- 
propriately in an automatic way — without *' thinking" 
of the various elements involved in the reaction. The 
efficiency of instruction that seeks to impart facts and 
principles is tested by the ability of the pupil to apply these 
facts and principles to the problems of life in the formation 
of judgments.^ Habit-building can be more easily tested 
in the school than the imparting of knowledge, because the 
school provides innumerable situations in which habits 
must function effectively, while it fails to provide many 
situations in which the knowledge gained is to be appHed 
in judgment form. For example, the pupil writes and 
spells in the course of his everyday school work; his 
number habits function throughout the later work in 
arithmetic; he speaks, sits, stands, walks, and has social 
relations with other members of the school group. Any 
deficiency in habit-building is revealed clearly and une- 
quivocally. But the child does not apply his knowledge 
in the same unequivocal fashion. In theory, it is true, he 

* These results should not be interpreted as meaning that the length- 
ening of the period was entirely responsible for the improvement. No 
attempt was made to make the test an experiment to prove this thesis. 
Other factors entered, not the least important of which was a general 
insistence on "better spelling" in all work. It should be added, how- 
ever, that words were not spelled for pupils during the composition 

* Cf. the distinction between habit and judgment in The Educative 
Process, chs. vii, viii. 



may be expected to use his geographical facts in inter- 
preting history, his arithmetical principles in the con- 
structive activities of manual training, his physiological 
principles in making better the hygienic conditions of his 
daily hfe. But every teacher knows that this expectation 
is seldom reaUzed in practice, and then only in a very small 

17. This lack of some real criterion for measuring the 
efficiency of instruction has led to the employment of a 
formal and rather artificial criterion, — the examination. 
The relative inefficiency of this method is a by- word among 
teachers, and there are not a few educators who would 
discard it entirely, evidently preferring no standard at all 
to an inadequate and often deceptive standard. 

The examination, however, seems to possess certain 
virtues as an educative process that counteract in some 
measure its deficiencies as a test either of knowledge or 
of the efficiency of instruction, (i) It gives the facts and 
principles to be mastered a certain importance in the eyes 
of the pupils that might otherwise be lacking. (2) It fur- 
nishes a motive for the compact organization and close 
correlation of facts and principles; it is a unifying and 
integrating agency without the operation of which in- 
struction is prone to "scatter,'' and knowledge to be diffuse 
and incoherent.^ 

18. The problem would therefore seem to involve the 

* Cf . The Educative Process, ch. xxii ; a similar position is also taken by 
L. Dugas: "Psychologic des Examens," in Revue Philosophique, 1904, 
vol. Iviii, pp. 379-399. 


improvement rather than the elimination of the exami- 
nation. In one way or another, the examination must be 
made to test, not the memory for specific and unrelated 
facts, but the capacity of the individual first to organize, 
and secondly to apply, the facts and principles that con- 
stitute the subject-matter of instruction. 

It is in respect of the latter point that the greater diffi- 
culty will be met. A fact or a principle is obviously valu- 
able only in so far as it may either be applied to the problems 
of life or form the key to other facts and principles that 
may be so applied. Knowledge which fulfills neither one 
of these functions is just so much useless furniture which 
mind will discard at the earliest possible opportunity. 
The great trouble with the average examination is that it 
does not test these two capacities. Consequently it is not 
the check that it should be upon the efficiency of instruc- 
tion ; for, if knowledge is to be used, it must be imparted 
in such a way that it can be used. The examination, as 
usually conducted, tests the memory for discrete facts: 
consequently the instruction aims at fixing such facts. 
If the examination could be remodeled, instruction would 
necessarily be modified to meet the new demands.^ 

^ The influence of examinations on methods of instruction is clearly 
to be seen in school systems that are dominated by formal examinations 
sent out from a central ofiice. The questions are preserved from year 
to year, and pupils are drilled upon these questions to the practical ex- 
clusion of other methods of instruction. This is not education in any 
sense of the term, and the practice has, through its abuse of the examina- 
tion, brought the latter into a disrepute that is not justified. In this 
connection, cf . H. Latham : Examinations considered as a Means of Selec- 
tion, Boston, 1886, chs. ii, vi, ix. 


The general inadequacy of the average examination as an 
index of the ability of the pupil is well evidenced by the writer's 
experience in the training of teachers. He has found that 
proficiency in academic work as measured by the examination 
test is in no sense correlated with the ability of the students 
to do effective teaching in the practice school. Very frequently 
the students who have the lowest records in the academic depart- 
ment make excellent records in practice, and, even more fre- 
quently, the students who are sent from the academic courses 
with the highest grades, make most disastrous failures in 
actual teaching. 

Similar testimony is offered by university experience, as 
witness the following : " In university faculties the observation 
has been very often made that graduates who come from 
colleges with the highest standards of attainments as tested by 
examinations, are less disposed to attempt original work and 
are less successful when they do so. They have been trained 
in receptive processes, and it is a serious question whether 
examinations do not tend directly to prevent knowledge from 
striking deep root, and to delay it in the 'memory vestibule.' 
If this be true, they are a distinct hindrance to the assimilation 
of mental pabulum." ^ 

19. How should examination questions be set in order 
to fulfill the conditions essential to making the examination 
a test of ability to organize and apply rather than a test 
of ability to remember isolated facts? In the first place, 
the teacher must bear in mind the fundamental principle 
of effective testing, which has been very clearly formulated 
by Professor Thorndike : ^ **To know whether any one has 
a given mental state, see if he can use it ; to know whether 

* G. S. Hall : Confessions of a Psychologist, Worcester, p. 52. 

* E. L. Thorndike : Principles of Teaching, p. 260. 


any one will make a given response to a certain situation, 
put him in the situation arranged so that that response, 
and that response alone, will produce a certain result, 
and see if that result is produced." 

The only practicable method of applying this principle 
to the formal examination is to construct ideal situations 
and ask the pupil to apply his knowledge to their solution. 
Thus the examination questions in arithmetic will be made 
up largely of concrete problems, taken from real life — 
problems that the men and women in the world are facing 
every day. The same class of questions should be given 
in other subjects. 

Questions of this type are to be found in the problems of 
the better and more recent text-books. Especially to be com- 
mended in this respect are the Meyer and Brooks arithmetics, 
the Smith arithmetics, and others of similar scope. The Tarr 
and McMurry and the Dodge geographies will also furnish 
valuable suggestions. Best of all, perhaps, from the stand- 
point of the pedagogy of test questions are some of the recent 
books in educational theory; especially O'Shea's Dynamic 
Factors in Education, De Garmo's Principles of Secondary 
Education, and Thorndike's Principles of Teaching, in each of 
which the various chapters or sections conclude with practical 
topics and questions, suggesting actual situations which are to 
be solved by an application of the principles brought forth. 

20. It must not be forgotten, however, that the abihty 
to organize knowledge into coherent systems should form 
an important factor to be tested by the examination. In 
the writer's experience it has been found best to direct 
either one in every three, or one in every two, of the ques- 


tions asked in an examination toward this end. Such 
questions should be broad and general in their formula- 
tion, thus both testing and encouraging the capacity for 
organization. The remaining questions should be specific 
and pointed, having particular reference to the solution of 
practical, concrete situations. 

The following questions on the geography of South America 
may serve to illustrate the principle : — 

(i) Discuss the location and extent of South America. 
(This is a general question, and, to be answered adequately, 
requires the ability to hold a number of facts in mind and to 
determine the relations between them. Thus the question 
might be made more specific by asking that South America be 
located with respect to other continents, and by requiring defi- 
nite comparisons of South America with other continents in 
respect of extent. The instruction, however, should have 
made clear that a topic like this involves these various points.) 

(2) Would London or New York be in a more favorable 
position for commerce with Buenos Ayres? Give reasons. 
(This is a specific question, demanding the practical applica- 
tion of the general principles brought out in the first question 
and having direct reference to a matter of practical business 

21. It is clear that examination questions of this type 
will demand a rather marked modification of methods of 
teaching; and this, after all, is the important point. // 
knowledge is to become applicable to the needs of lije, it 
must be presented in a manner that will bring out its prac- 
tical or social values. Examination questions can then be 
framed that will test the pupil's ability to apply the knowl- 


edge gained. If such questions are answered inadequately, 
it simply shows that instruction has been inadequate ; con- 
sequently the formal examination can be made a test of 
the efficiency of instruction as well as a method for en- 
couraging organizing activity on the part of the pupils.^ 

22. Marking Examination Papers. Except in mathe- 
matics or some similar branch of exact science, it is im- 
possible to apply an exact scale of marking. For example, 
if in a geography test there are the questions similar to 
those given above, one cannot value a pupil's answers 
on the basis of a finely graduated series of marks — run- 
ning, say, from i to 100; but one can safely say whether 
the pupiPs answer is excellent, good, fair, poor, or abso- 
lutely bad. If different teachers mark the same papers 
on the scale of 100, a certain variation will be found in the 
grades given by each. In fact, if the same teacher marks 
the same paper at different times, a certain amount of 
variation is almost always to be noted. On the other 
hand, within wider limits, the variation is slight ; that is, 
an excellent paper will usually be so adjudged by different 
teachers and by the same teacher at different times; and 
a poor paper would be very infrequently marked excellent, 

^ It is well to have access to typical examination questions set in 
different subjects, together with the average standings obtained by various 
classes taking these examinations. In this way the teacher can "check" 
the efficiency of his own teaching by comparing his results with others. 
Rice's articles, referred to at the close of this chapter, furnish sets of 
"standard" questions in arithmetic for Grades IV-VIII inclusive, and 
also give the results of a large number of classes taking these examina- 
tions. The " Springfield " questions are also available for comparative 
tests. (See Appendix C.) 


or good, or fair, under any conditions. Consequently, 
although finely graduated markings are not to be trusted, 
the possibility of a reasonably accurate marking must be 

23. To summarize: the efficiency of instruction may 
be tested by a careful application of the method of formal 
examinations. This test will not be so accurate as are 
the various tests to which habit-building may be subjected, 
but it is far better than no test at all, and it may be made 
more and more effective by gradually improving the tech- 
nique of examination questions, and by adopting a scale 
of grading more elastic than the numerical system affords. 

References. — Thomdike : Principles of Teaching, ch. xvi ; Dut- 
ton: School Management, ch. xiv; Seeley: A New School Manage- 
ment, ch. XV ; J. M. Rice: articles in Forum as follows: vol. xxxiv 
(1902), pp. 117-130; 181-297; 437-452; 588-607. 

The Disposition of the Teacher's Time 

1. The efficiency of the teacher is influenced by a variety 
of factors, but the chief of these is his ability to give a 
maximum of attention to the problems involved in instruc- 
tion. If his life is not so ordered that he can meet each 
class with a maximum of energy at his disposal, the value 
of his work to the community must be seriously impaired. 
It is germane to our problem, therefore, to inquire into the 
disposition of the teacher's time, not only in school, but 
also out of school. 

2. The prime school duties of the teacher may be classed 
as instructional and disciplinary. Both are important in 
and for themselves, and neither should be neglected for 
the other. The accessory school duties may be classed as 
clerical and administrative. These are not to be neglected, 
but should never be permitted to interfere with instruction 
and discipline. 

In every well-regulated life there must be a time that is 
specifically allotted to all routine tasks. The teacher's hours 
of actual service are comparatively short — at most thirty 
hours each week for a maximum of forty weeks, or twelve 
hundred hours annually. In view of this fact, it is not too 
much to expect that the teacher dispose of the necessary 
clerical work outside of the regular school hours. By far the 



best plan is to set aside the hour immediately following the 
close of the daily session for such work, and to keep reports 
and records *'up to date." The tendency to postpone clerical 
work until reports are called for is pernicious and should be 
strenuously combated from the outset. 

3. The out-of-school duties of the teacher may be con- 
veniently designated as (a) professional, {b) hygienic, 
(c) civic, and (d) social and personal. 

(a) Projessional Duties. These include (i) preparation 
of school work, and (2) study, reading, and discussion 
along broader educational lines. To the true craftsman 
the dominating interest in life is the doing of each day's 
work in the best possible manner. To him no other reward 
can ever equal the consciousness of work well done. It 
takes some time, however, for the young teacher to assume 
this attitude. His first experiences will fascinate him 
because of their novelty, but when this novelty wears 
away, — as it must sooner or later, — there will almost 
invariably ensue a period of time, more or less protracted, 
during which he must hold himself strenuously to his 
tasks, and resist with all his power the inevitable distaste 
for continued effort. This is the most critical period in 
the life of any worker, and it is during this time that every 
teacher stands in direst need of all the encouragement 
and inspiration that he can command. 

One of the surest means of attaining the mental attitude 
that finds the daily tasks fascinating in themselves is to 
set out resolutely with the intention of making the day's 
work the most important phase of life. The most effective 


way to fortify this resolution is to give from the very begin- 
ning a stated period of time outside of the regular school 
work to preparation for, and reflection upon, the details 
of that work. From two to three hours in the evening will 
be none too long for this purpose. Every lesson that is 
to be taught should be worked over beforehand. The best 
manner of approaching the lesson should be determined, 
and questions framed that will prepare the class for the new 
material. Illustrations should be sought from all possible 
sources, worked over, and adapted to the age and mental 
attainments of the pupils. At the beginning, the teacher 
would do well to write out carefully the plan of each lesson, 
including the specific questions and explanations, and to 
rehearse the whole before an imaginary class. This is a 
strenuous program, but it will return large dividends upon 
the time and energy invested. In addition to work of this 
nature, one should reflect carefully upon the order in which 
pupils are to be called upon for recitation, and adapt 
questions and topics to the peculiarities of individual chil- 
dren. Finally, the independent work of the pupils during 
the study periods should be planned and the necessary 
materials provided. 

4. An important task of the teacher in connection with 
out-of-school work is the supervision of written exercises. 
This should not be classed with the clerical duties men- 
tioned above, for it is too important to be left for the 
clerical hour after school when the teacher's energies are 
necessarily at a low ebb. The wise course is not to de- 
mand written work from pupils in so large an amount that 


it cannot be carefully supervised in the evening without 
intruding upon the time that the teacher must devote to 
the preparation of lessons. In many cases, teachers give 
too much time and energy to the correction of examination 
papers, problems, essays, and note-books, and too little 
attention to preparation for teaching. The very fact that 
so much written work is demanded often renders the labor 
of the teacher in correcting papers quite without effect. 
Pupils continue to make the same mistakes because the 
large number of mistakes precludes effective concentration 
upon any one, and because, in the chaos of interlineations 
and marginal comments, it is impossible for the pupil to 
attack the mistakes in the systematic manner that alone will 
bring results. If the written work in most of our schools 
could be reduced to about one third of its present pro- 
portions, the efficiency of instruction would be greatly 

5. (2) Broader Professional Culture. The young teacher 
can fortify the craft spirit by forming regular habits of 
study both along general educational lines and in gaining 
a more thorough grasp upon specific subject-matter of 
instruction. He should read regularly three or four edu- 
cational journals. One of these should be his state or 
local journal, another a national school newspaper. These 
will give him the "gossip" of his craft — the personal 
items concerning the men and women who are his col- 
leagues in school work. He will become familiar with the 
"big names" of contemporary education, and will know 
what the great movements are and the people who stand 


for them. Another journal should be devoted to the par- 
ticular problems of the special field with which the teacher 
is most intimately concerned, — primary work, upper 
grade work, high school work, as the case may be. A 
fourth should be one of the more general reviews, cover- 
ing the entire field of education and discussing school 
problems in their very broadest relations. Not everything 
in all of these journals should be read by every teacher, but 
it is well to have access to at least one journal in each 
of the four classes, and to examine every number care- 
fully to discover what it contains that may be of value. 

In this day of periodical literature, one very easily contracts 
a vicious habit of desultory reading. In fact, this habit bids 
fair to become one of the most pernicious intellectual diseases 
of modern times. So great a variety of reading matter is pro- 
vided at so small a cost that one is tempted away from that 
protracted and sustained reading from which alone one can 
make measurable gains in culture and attainment. Discon- 
nected items of information are not educative, except in 
homoeopathic doses. The cheap magazines and weekly 
newspapers that cater to the popular demand for change 
and variety are undoubtedly doing much toward weakening 
the intellectual fiber of the race. One does not realize how 
pernicious is their influence until one sits down to a serious piece 
of work in an environment that is filled with these distracting 
influences. The best plan for the young teacher is to keep out 
of temptation's way, otherwise he is apt to find that all of his 
well-laid plans for evening study and self-improvement come 
to naught. Certainly, as a matter of habit, he should read at 
least two serious articles in a general educational review each 
month. This is an example of what Professor James terms 


*' giving the will a little gratuitous exercise." The articles may 
not be particularly interesting or particularly germane to his 
work, but the fact that they appear in a high-class review indi- 
cates that they are important, and a great many articles that 
seem dull and heavy at the outset will be found interesting 
before they are finished. 

6. Every teacher should read each year one or two of 
the season's new books on general education. Some of 
these are not to be taken too seriously, but many of them 
will give fresh points of view and offer valuable suggestions. 
Educational theory is just now in a transition stage of its 
development, and no one can tell at what moment some 
epoch-making principle may be enunciated. It behooves 
the progressive teacher to keep in touch with the firing 
line, even though he reserves his own judgment as to the 
practical significance of each little victory. 

7. Teachers^ Associations. It is unnecessary to point 
out the stimulus which the annual state and national 
gatherings of teachers give to the craft spirit. The young 
teacher should avail himself from the outset of this medium 
of inspiration. Again, what is presented in the formal 
papers is not always to be taken too seriously, but the give- 
and-take discussion of mooted questions, the animated 
"shop talk" of the hotel lobbies and parlors, the oppor- 
tunities to exchange experiences with others who are 
facing sihailar problems — these factors often give the 
meetings an untold value. 

In this connection, also, must again be mentioned the 
visiting of schools. The teacher who limits his profes- 


sional life to the narrow confines of his own classroom is 
almost certain to have low standards of instruction and 
discipline. To have in mind a vivid image of conditions 
in a first-class school is to have an ideal toward which one's 
own energies may be directed. Not a few teachers con- 
scientiously believe that their pupils are doing just as 
good work as can be got from them ; a visit to another 
school of the same grade is apt to open their eyes — unless, 
indeed, they be hopelessly blinded. 

8. (b) Hygienic Duties. The teacher must preserve 
his health if his work is to be maximally effective. The 
work of the classroom is extremely fatiguing — far more 
so, in the writer's experience, than anything in the way of 
administration or supervision. One's attention must be 
continually concentrated, and concentrated upon the same 
thing for relatively long periods of time. It is for this 
reason that every effort must be made to supply an ade- 
quate amount of energy and to husband this energy against 
the time when effective concentration is most needed. 
Sufficient sleep is the first requisite, and not even a zeal 
for the preparation of lessons should interfere with regular 
hours of complete rest. Exercise is also important, and 
many teachers devote the hour from five to six to exercise 
in the open air. Next to sufficient sleep an abundance 
of nutritious food, rich in proteids, should be the last fac- 
tor to neglect. For those engaged mainly in intellectual 
work, the heavy meal of the day should come at the close 
of the day's work, not at noon. The processes of digestion 
can then be given the necessary two hours in which to do 


their work before one attacks the serious tasks of the 

9. (c) Civic Duties. The ideal democracy is not direct 
government by the people, but rather a government by 
experts who are responsible to the people and in whom 
the people can repose implicit confidence. It is incon- 
sistent, to say the least, to leave governmental functions 
to amateurs when every other department of the division 
of labor is in the hands of specialists. This ideal, however, 
is far in the future, and until it is realized every citizen 
must devote a portion of his time and energy to the work 
of government. The teacher is no exception to this rule, 
although the fact that most teachers are women, and that 
women have little direct influence in political matters 
makes the situation here rather different from that which 
obtains in other crafts and professions. Nevertheless even 
women teachers should interest themselves in political 
movements, and use every influence within their power to 
promote the ends of civic virtue. They should, at least, give 
the inspiration of their presence to associations and meet- 
ings that have for their object civic improvement. In not 
a few instances municipal reforms in the direction of 
cleaner streets, more artistic buildings, better parks, more 
equitable taxation, etc., owe their initiation to the activity 
of public school teachers; and every expression of sane 
and temperate public spirit on the part of teachers cannot 
fail to act reflexly upon the schools themselves, giving them 
an increased hold upon the respect of the community, and 
elevating their importance in the eyes of the pupils. 


Nor must the teacher be blind to the responsibility that rests 
upon him for developing effective ideals of civic virtue in the 
minds of his pupils. All dominant ideals of conduct must 
have their inception in childhood and youth. Reforms can 
be initiated "from the top," but if such reforms are to be 
permanent, their necessity must be impressed upon the minds 
of the rising generation. The contemporary revolution in the 
ethics of government, of politics, and of business enterprises 
will doubtless have but small effect upon the conduct of the 
great mass of men and women belonging to the dominant 
generation. These men and women will indeed admit the 
necessity of such reforms, but their habits are too firmly estab- 
lished to be transformed in k day; they have been looking at 
things in a different light too long to admit of a sudden ''change 
of front," no matter how acutely the need of such a change 
may be felt. But all this agitation toward a higher conception 
of public service should furnish the most favorable condition 
for inspiring youth with higher standards and ideals than those 
which govern the present generation, and the duty of the school 
plainly lies in this direction. The teacher should never lose 
sight of the fact that it is within his power to transform the 
character of a race^ for the character of a race is determined by 
its dominant ideals, and these the skillful teacher can mold to 
his own hking. That the hope of the future lies in the youth of 
the present is a platitude so often repeated as quite to hide from 
view its fundamental truth. And yet each new interpretation 
of education from the standpoint of modern science, and each 
new investigation into the history of education among different 
people and diverse races, add convincing testimony to this fact. 
The opportunity lies with the school, and, under our modern 
conception of ethics, with opportunity must go responsibility. 

10. (d) Social Duties. Recreation in one form or 
another is necessary for maximal efficiency in any line of 


work, and nothing more accurately indicates the character 
of a man than the way in which he seeks recreation — 
the way in which he spends his leisure. For the teacher, 
dealing as he does with immature minds, some form of 
recreation that will afford a complete change of environ- 
ment is absolutely essential if he is to escape the intolerable 
pedantry and dogmatism to which the members of his craft 
are so commonly subject. He should frequently seek social 
diversion among men and women who are engaged in other 
lines of work. He must strive to retain that plasticity of 
adjustment that will enable him successfully to adapt him- 
self to general rather than technical interests. This does 
not mean that he should be ashamed of his colleagues in 
education, or ashamed of his calling as a teacher. It 
simply means that, in common with men and women in 
other walks of life, he should be able to drop his profes- 
sional mannerisms on occasion and to think and talk in 
terms other than those used in his daily work. 

II. What proportion of his time may the teacher devote 
to social diversion? Of course one cannot propose a 
dogmatic answer to this question, but there are certain 
factors that should be borne in mind in every specific 
determination. The necessity for evening work will pre- 
clude social engagements on at least five evenings of the 
week. The teacher is sometimes apt to rebel at this 
suggestion, forgetting that, unlike workers in other fields, 
he has one day each week (usually Saturday) free from 
classroom employment. In return for this, the commimity 
has a right to expect longer actual hours of work upon 


other days. This arrangement, however, leaves two even- 
ings free for recreation. The teacher is also unique in 
having a longer annual vacation than other workers. Cer- 
tainly a part of this vacation should be spent in pro- 
fessional improvement — "keeping up with the times"; 
but the rest is free for whatever healthful recreation the 
teacher may care to take. On the whole, therefore, it is 
hardly too much to expect of a teacher that, during five 
days of each week throughout the school year, he make 
the problems of his daily work the dominant subject of 
his attention. 

References. — Dutton: School Management^ chs. ii, iii; Seeley: 
A New School Management^ ch. xviii; W. E. Chancellor: Our 
Schools: Their Administration and Supervision^ Boston, 1905, ch. xi; 
Keith: Elementary Education^ ch. xiv. 


The Teacher's Relation to Principal, Supervisors, 
AND Superintendent 

I. The successful operation of a school system involves 
the organized effort of a number of individuals toward a 
common end. As in other social institutions, the highest 
degree of efficiency is secured by centraHzing authority 
and responsibiUty in a single individual. To this indi- 
vidual is delegated a degree of power commensurate 
(theoretically, at least) with his responsibiUty. In some 
systems both the power and the responsibihty of the 
superintendent of schools are almost negHgible factors: 
the office is a mere bagatelle, concerned only with clerical 
and mechanical functions. There can be no doubt, how- 
ever, that the present tendency is toward a stronger and 
closer organization of educational forces within the limits 
of a conveniently large *' working unit." The city com- 
munity represents the type of such a unit. The county 
school system and the state school system must necessarily 
be much looser in their organization because of the diffi- 
culty that confronts a single head in governing widely 
separated elements. 

Wherever a system of schools exists, the classroom 
teacher is responsible to the head of that system, who in 
turn is responsible to the representative board of educa- 



tion, and this body to the community at large. Owing to 
the complex character of our governmental machinery, 
however, a division of responsibility commonly confronts 
the Superintendent, for he is answerable not only to local 
authorities, but often to state authorities. 

2. Generally between the superintendent and the class- 
room teacher intervenes the principal of the building. 
The office of principal is now recognized as one of the 
most important in the school system — perhaps, every- 
thing considered, the most influential for good or ill. The 
position of the principal is quite analogous to that of a 
ship's captain. He is responsible for everything that 
belongs to or goes on within the Hmits of his school, — 
for the instruction, for the discipline, for the care and 
condition of the material equipment. Teachers, super- 
visors, and janitors are all answerable to him for the 
efficiency of their work. The prevailing tendency is to 
relieve the principal of teaching duties in order that he 
may devote all of his time and energy to the general wel- 
fare of the school. 

3. An obvious corollary of this condition is the necessity 
for loyalty on the part of each subordinate to his chief. 
A centraHzed organization can be effective upon no other 
assumption. Unquestioned obedience is the first rule of 
efficient service. The classroom teacher owes this to his 
superiors, and whenever he cannot yield such obedience, 
his resignation is the only alternative. 

In practice, this condition is not so arbitrary and auto- 
cratic as it may appear in cold print. The responsibility 


of teacher to principal or superintendent is almost ex- 
clusively a responsibility for results. Certain requirements 
are made in the way of results. Pupils must be taught 
certain facts, drilled into certain habits, in each grade. 
The superintendent demands these results of his principals, 
the principals pass on the demand to the classroom teachers, 
the classroom teachers exact the required work from the 
pupils. A group of unorganized teachers, each working 
independently and unsupervised, might secure the same 
results, but the chances are strongly against the suppo- 
sition. CentraHzed authority, working through inter- 
mediate officials, is the only known method of insuring 
economy of school administration in this respect. 

When it comes to the details of method and the tech- 
nique of instruction, however, the classroom teacher is 
left very largely to his own initiative. Superintendents 
and principals rarely go beyond suggestion in such mat- 
ters, although there are sometimes occasions when sugges- 
tion must be interpreted to mean authoritative direction. 
The same is true in respect of discipline. It is the end 
of discipline that is important in the eyes of the princi- 
pal and superintendent; the teacher must work out the 
method. It will readily be seen that the initiative of the 
classroom teacher has still a large scope even under rigid 
systems of organization and supervision. 

It must not be inferred that the classroom teacher has no 
voice, even in the larger questions of policy in the administra- 
tion of the school system. Although the typical organization 
appears to be little less than an autocracy when viewed from 


the outside, it is almost a democracy in the great majority of 
city systems. The classroom teachers are regularly assembled 
for discussion of important questions with the principal of the 
school, and the principals meet regularly with the superintend- 
ent. In small systems all of the teachers meet together at 
frequent intervals. The general policy in all such meetings 
is to permit absolute freedom of speech. If a subordinate 
teacher does not agree with any prescription that is made for 
his conduct, he is generally at liberty to state his reasons in this 
forum. It would be a rash superintendent, indeed, who would 
attempt to carry through a measure that met decided disap- 
proval from his subordinates. Whenever a decision is reached, 
however, the subordinates must accept it, no matter what their 
individual opinions may be. Discussion is then closed and the 
time for action has arrived.* 

4. The Teacher and the Special Supervisors. Practically 
all of the larger systems of schools now employ special 
supervisors of music, drawing, manual training, and 
sometimes physical culture and nature study. These su- 
pervisors go from school to school, giving model lessons 
in each room and instructing the classroom teachers in 
the technique of their special branches. The classroom 
teacher is responsible to the supervisor for the special 
work supervised, and for the methods employed in such 
work. The supervisor is, however, under the nominal 
control of the principal in whose building he chances to 
be at work, consequently the classroom teacher's first 

* An able discussion of the relation of the classroom teacher to the 
principal and superintendent will be found in a paper by ex-Superintendent 
E, P. Seaver of Boston, published in the Report of the Commissioner 0} 
Education, Washington, 1899, pp. 546 ff. 


loyalty is to the principal. This rule does not hold in all 
cases, but it is manifestly the only way in which an equi- 
table balance can be maintained between different lines of 
special work. 

5. Supervision in Rural Schools. The teacher in a dis- 
trict or ungraded country school is nominally under the 
control of the county superintendent or commissioner of 
education, and through him responsible to the state depart- 
ment of public instruction. In practice, however, the 
county superintendent exercises but little supervision over 
his subordinate teachers. Schools are so widely separated 
that he can visit them only infrequently, and inasmuch 
as his office is almost universally a political prize, he is 
naturally very careful about making severe criticisms. 
In general, the only checks upon the work of the rural 
teacher are his own conscientiousness and the very falHble 
judgment of his patrons. It is perhaps owing to the 
generally high character of the former factor that the 
results in the rural schools are as good as they are. No 
more pressing problem confronts American education, 
however, than to provide some effective means of super- 
vising the rural schools. 

6. Summary. The problem of the relation of the class- 
room teacher to his superior officers should be solved by 
an attitude of obedience to constituted authority. This is 
very far from saying that the teacher should adopt an 
attitude of serviHty ; intelHgent loyalty is the better term 
to employ. The situation is entirely analogous to that 
in any other organization or system, — the army, the 


navy, governmental departments, great business enter- 
prises (or small business enterprises, for that matter). 
Concentrated effort can be secured in no other way. 
The teacher should thoroughly understand this basal 
proposition and act in accordance with its dictates from 
the outset. Youth is prone to resent authority. Indeed, it 
is hardly too much to say that our contemporary theories 
of education do much, perhaps unconsciously, to inculcate 
an attitude antagonistic to authority. This represents a 
healthful reaction against the ultra-machine tendency 
prevalent in school organization some years ago, but it 
is a reaction that can easily be carried too far. 

References. — W. E. Chancellor: Our Schools: Their Adminis- 
tration and Supervision, Boston, 1905, chs. iv-vii; Button: School 
Management, chs. vi, xix; Seeley: A New School Management, 
ch. xix; Roark: Economy in Education, pp. 88-91. 


The Ethics of Schoolcraft 

I. The relation of the classroom teacher to his prin- 
cipal and superintendent is but one of the many questions 
that are gradually becoming crystallized in the unwritten 
laws that govern the teacher's caUing. Every trade and 
profession must possess a recognized code of craft ethics, 
— certain standards of right and wrong, honor and dis- 
honor, as these terms are appUed in the special field that 
the trade or profession covers. The tenets and doctrines 
of these ethical systems are sometimes elaborately organized 
and impose restrictions upon the members of the guild 
the value of which a layman may frequently find it hard 
to appreciate. The ethics of medicine, for example, for- 
bids a physician to advertise his services save in a most 
modest and unobtrusive fashion. The moment that the 
physician breaks this unwritten law, he is ostracized from 
the society of his fellow-craftsmen. Military service is 
carefully guarded by restrictions, imposed by military tra- 
dition, which demand of all initiates into the service a 
standard of personal honor that is much more exacting 
than similar standards' in civil life. The various fields 
of fine art — music, painting, sculpture, architecture — 
are also dominated by codes of craft ethics many of whose 
tenets are frequently meaningless to the uninitiated. Nor 



are the manual trades exceptions to the general rule: 
carpenters, plumbers, stonecutters, metal workers, all 
have their peculiar standards and ideals in which each 
apprentice is carefully instructed, and to which he must 
prove his fideUty or lose the caste of craft. 

The essence of the craft or professional spirit is revealed 
in each of these instances ; in matters pertaining solely to 
craft welfare, the members of each guild legislate for them- 
selves. The guild is essentially a close corporation; its 
ruHngs are self-imposed, self-sustained, and self-sufl&cient. 

2. From one point of view, education suffers in com- 
parison with other human caUings in just this fact : it has 
not as yet developed an adequate system of craft ethics. 
If a human calhng would win the world's respect, it must 
first respect itself. And the more thoroughly it respects 
itself, the richer will be the measure of homage that the 
world renders it. War, medicine, art, literature — all 
bear testimony to this principle. To be faithful to the 
craft spirit is the highest ambition of a true soldier, a true 
physician, a true artist. To lose the caste of craft is the 
most severe punishment that can be inflicted upon him. 
For the plaudits or the sneers of the crowd he cares but 
little. He seeks commendation from another source — 
from a source that metes it out less lavishly, and yet with 
unconditioned candor; he seeks the commendation of his 
fellow-workmen, the applause of those who know, 

3. And what are some of the ideals and standards that 
the new Schoolcraft is slowly crystallizing into an ethical 
code? First and foremost stands the conviction that the 


work of teaching is coordinate in rank and dignity with 
other branches of the public service; that its work to be 
done well must be done by trained specialists who devote 
their best energies to the solution of its problems; that 
any one who looks upon it as a ''stepping-stone" or a 
"time- filler" o£fers it an insult which mere decency and 
self-respect demand that it resent. And the true teacher 
will not be patronized. He does not need to be told that 
his work is *'the noblest and highest of all human call- 
ings " — a sample of the pious mouthings not infrequently 
voiced by men who would not for a moment encourage 
their sons to enter the work of the public schools. If the 
teacher is a true craftsman, he knows what education means 
— he knows this far better than a layman can tell him. 

4. In the second place, the craft spirit in education will 
insist that its own trained and expert judgment shall es- 
tablish craft standards of excellence and efficiency. It will 
resent the unwarranted interference of laymen in purely 
technical matters. It will resent such interference manfully 
and vigorously as would a reputable physician, a reputable 
artist, or a reputable engineer in a similar situation. 

5. In the third place, the craft spirit in education will 
turn a deaf ear to excuses. It will hold each member of 
the guild strictly responsible for the task that he has 
assumed. Not the inefficiency of previous teachers, nor 
the poverty of the homes from which pupils come, nor 
the pecuUar conditions of the social environment, will be 
accepted in Heu of the results demanded. This seems the 
crudest, the most relentless, of all possible standards — 


and yet it is the only standard that will bring Schoolcraft to 
an equal rank with other callings. As Kipling says of Find- 
layson in the Bridge Builders : " There were no excuses in 
his work. Government might listen, perhaps, but his own 
kind would judge him by his bridge, as that stood or fell." 

6. In the fourth place, the craft spirit will demand high 
standards of scholarship and preparatory training for 
admittance to the guild. It will reject the idea that, be- 
cause teachers deal with little children, their minds are 
the minds of children, or that their intellectual pabulum 
should consist of milk and water. It will stand for reason 
and abjure sentiment. 

7. In the fifth place, it will insist upon the conception of 
Schoolcraft as social service^ and that the rewards 0} such 
service are not to be measured in dollars and cents. In this 
respect it will class its guild with art, music, literature, 
discovery, invention, and pure science. If all of the 
workers in each of these lines of human activity demanded 
of the world the real fruits of their self-sacrifice and labor, 
— if they received all of the riches that have flowed, 
directly or indirectly, from their efforts, — there would be 
very little left for the rest of mankind. Each of these 
activities is dominated by a craft spirit which recognizes 
this fundamental truth. The artist or the scientist who 
has an itching palm, who prostitutes his craft for the sake 
of worldly gain, is quickly relegated to the obHvion that 
he deserves. He loses the caste of craft which is more 
precious to the true craftsman than all the gold of the 
modern Midas. In each of these branches of activity, 


service is its own reward, and this must be true of educa- 
tion. All that the true teacher should ask of the world is 
a Hving wage, the privilege to serve, and "a seat at the 
table around which the competent members of his guild 
hold council." 

If one should think this standard to be visionary and im- 
practicable, a brief acquaintance with the ideals of other crafts 
and professions will quickly dispel the illusion. Let such a 
person turn to the biographies of Darwin, Spencer, Helm- 
holtz, Huxley, Miiller, Newton, and a score of other masters 
in science. Let him inquire of the men on the geological survey 
who first laid bare the great gold deposits in Alaska and still 
remained faithful to their service and content with their pittance. 
Let him ask the scholars at a score of universities. Let him 
ask any one of a thousand talented men who are devoting their 
lives to painting, sculpture, music, pure literature, for the sake 
of an art that they might far more comfortably commercialize 
and exploit for their own pecuniary benefit. The answer will 
be the same in every instance. All that these men ask is a 
living wage and a chance to serve. It is only a great national 
delusion — a virulent jaundice of the mind — that leads men 
to believe that efficient service can be obtained only under the 
stimulus of the dollar. Our national ideal, "Material success 
at any price," has woefully distorted our perspective.^ 

^ The advice of the late Senator Hoar to the students of the Yale Law 
School represents an effort to reestablish in the legal profession the ideals 
of service that formerly inspired the lawyer to his best work. The fol- 
lowing extract indicates the spirit of his plea : — 

" If you will walk these high paths, you must abandon the pursuit of 
wealth as a principal or considerable object. Of course the lawyer must 
have his quiddam honorarium. He must have his ample library. He 
must provide for his wife and children a comfortable home, lay up some- 
thing for old age, and start his children in life with a good education, and 
the stimulant of his own good example. That is pretty much all. I hope 


8. In the sixth place, the craft spirit in education will 
abjure pedantry and dogmatism. It will discount the 
hypertrophied '*good-goodyism" that so often emanates 
from an overweening consciousness of mental or moral 
superiority. It will hold industry, courage, and effi- 
ciency as the cardinal virtues; sloth, inefficiency, and 
covetousness as the cardinal sins. 

9. Fundamentally, teaching is a creative as well as a 
conservative art. Its task is to mold a certain raw ma- 
terial into a certain desired product. Society imposes 
certain limitations and restrictions upon the process of 
creation in education, just as convention restricts the 
painter, the sculptor, the composer, the poet. The prod- 
uct must represent certain definite minimal requirements; 
but when this condition is once fulfilled, the teacher, Hke 
the artist, has a large scope for his creative talent. 

Society demands that the product of the school shall 
be able to read and write and "cipher." These conserva- 
tive factors will always form an irreducible minimum of 

to see our profession everywhere return to its ancient and healthy abhor- 
rence of everything that savors of speculation in justice. When you are 
once known to the people, not as masters of the law, but as traders and 
traffickers seeking your own gain, the virtue has gone out of you." — 
Quoted by W. G. Cook, in North American Review, 1906, vol. clxxxiii, 
p. 114. A similar view with regard to the profession of scholarship is 
taken by Professor W. M. Payne (International Quarterly, 1904, vol. viii, 
p. 273): "That scholar is unworthy of his high office who joins in the 
querulous complaint raised now and again to the effect that scholarship 
does not command material rewards proportional to those won by other 
forms of endeavor. Are its own peculiar rewards to count for nothing 
then — its honors, its self-sufficing activities, its sense of the esteem in 
which it is held by all whose approval is worth having?" 


education. Their necessity is inherent in the very essence 
of civihzation, for civiUzation demands first of all that 
men lead the social life at the very foundation of which 
must always he an effective medium of communication; 
and civilization demands a division of labor and the 
interdependence of social units for material necessities 
and comforts, and for this reason an effective means of 
computation is indispensable. If civilization were to 
begin anew, formal education would still be face to face 
with the three R's. 

But the finished product of the teacher's art must be 
more than a reading-writing-ciphering automaton. It 
must represent a highly complex mechanism of civilized 
habits, delicately adjusted to respond effectively to the 
innumerable stimuH of an increasingly complex social 
life. It must represent a storehouse of organized race- 
experience, conserved against the time when knowledge 
shall be needed in the constructive solution of new and 
untried problems. It must represent the initiative that 
is competent to adapt means to ends in the solution of 
such problems. And, beyond all this, it must represent 
ideals — those intangible forces that can Hft a race in a 
single century through a greater distance than it has 
traversed in all preceding ages. Every teacher who comes 
in contact with the plastic material that we designate as 
childhood and youth can add a touch to this creative 
process — can influence definitely, tangibly, unerringly, 
the type of manhood and womanhood that is to dominate 
the succeeding generation. 



Courses in the observation of classroom work are to be 
found in the curricula of practically all normal schools. They 
are also coming into favor in the universities that offer instruc- 
tion in the theory and practice of education. It is the writer's 
belief that observation of expert teaching forms an indispen- 
sable part of the candidate's training. His own experience in 
normal school work of different types has offered opportunities 
for comparisons, and has led him to conclude that the students 
who enter upon their practice teaching after a systematic course 
of observation under supervision do much better work at the 
outset, make fewer mistakes, and apply their theoretical peda- 
gogy more effectively than the students who go to practice 
without this preparatory observation. 

It seems to be tolerably certain that the beginning teacher 
follows, in his first efforts, some concrete model of teaching. 
The most common procedure is to imitate one's own instruc- 
tors. If these instructors are engaged in teaching relatively 
mature students, it is obvious that their technique will not 
always be adapted to the pupils in the lower grades. The most 
frequent cause of failure among college graduates who go into 
elementary and secondary teaching is admittedly the tendency of 
such beginners to employ college methods in their instruction.^ 

If the beginner does not imitate the instructors from whose 

* Of. some statistics upon this point gathered by Professor M. V. O'Shea 
published in School Review, 1902, vol. x, pp. 778 £f. 



classrooms he has just come, the chances are that he will imi- 
tate his earlier teachers in so far as he can recall the methods 
and devices that they employed. In some cases, this will result 
in the initiation of valuable habits of technique; more fre- 
quently, however, the formation of good habits is impeded 
rather than helped by this process. 

A third procedure, which is rarely met with in actual practice, 
is the adjustment of the teacher to his new work on the basis of 
the principles that he has assimilated during his study of theo- 
retical pedagogy — ''general method '* and "special methods." 
f| This is a rare procedure in the beginner, because it involves the 
^operation of the conceptual judgment. The line of least re- 
sistance is to solve a new situation by a practical judgment — 
by the conscious recall of a concrete experience and an imita- 
tive adjustment, copying, as faithfully as may be, the details of 
this recalled experience. As a matter of fact, the connection 
between theory and practice is very seldom made by the begin- 
ning teacher, unless the theoretical instruction has been imparted 
in a manner that will enable the student vividly to associate with 
each principle a concrete image oj its practical application in 
the classroom. Many students complete with high honor 
strenuous courses in psychology and in educational theory, 
and then proceed as quickly as possible to forget what they 
have acquired, because they can find in actual school work no 
instance of the application of the facts and principles that they 
have learned.^ 

A practicable — and, in the writer's experience, a most 

* In this connection it is interesting to note the strangely inconsistent policy 
in normal school practice which insists that the student shall first study ab- 
stract theory and then note its application, while the very first principle that 
the theory itself teaches is that education must proceed from the concrete to 
the abstract, and from cases to principles. 


successful — solution of this problem is to parallel the courses 
in psychology and educational theory with such observation of 
actual classroom work as will illustrate the principles and pre- 
cepts as they are developed. In this way an immediate connec- 
tion is made between the principles and the. cases upon which 
they rest, and the student is supplied with concrete images of 
classroom technique which he can apply when he begins his 
practice teaching. 

General Principles of Observation. — It is a fallacy of edu- 
cational theory to look upon the study of concrete cases as in- 
trinsically easier and less fatiguing than the study of general 
principles. Objective teaching is, by far, the most difl&cult 
form of teaching. It is easy, indeed, to watch objective proc- 
esses that are novel and for that reason attractive from the 
standpoint of passive attention; but to obtain from objective 
study anything of real value requires the closest sort of concen- 
tration and a marked degree of sustained attention. Simply 
sending students to an elementary classroom with instructions 
to "observe" the work of the teacher is a good way to begin, 
but it cannot be profitably employed after one or two visits. 
The matter must be taken up systematically and attacked ag- 
gressively, if a measurable value is to accrue to the time and 
energy expended in the work. 

The following principles and cautions are suggested for the 
conduct of courses in observation : — 

(i) If possible, observation should accompany all work in 
educational theory, including psychology, general method, 
special methods, school hygiene, and school management. 

(2) If it is not practicable to devote so much time to obser- 
vation, it should be given just prior to the beginning of practice; 
in other words, the concrete images will be less effectively recalled 


if a period of long duration intervenes between the observation 
and the practice. 

(3) Classrooms selected for observation should be in charge 
of teachers whose work can be honestly commended. 

(4) The observing students should be cautioned at the outset 
that their duty is to learn and not to criticise. The good 
points should be constantly emphasized. Even the best of 
teachers will sometimes make mistakes, and it requires very 
little experience or mental acumen to find fault. The hyper- 
critical attitude should be discouraged from the very first. 

(5) The teachers whose classrooms are visited should 
thoroughly understand that the purpose of visitation is not 
critical. Otherwise they will almost invariably become self- 
conscious and fail to do their best. 

(6) Only occasionally should a teacher be asked to rearrange 
his program for the sake of providing exercises for the obser- 
vation classes. Observators can find almost every principle 
of education illustrated in any school exercise. 

(7) The instructor should at first accompany the sections to 
the class under observation, and provide for a subsequent 
period to discuss the points noted. After four or five obser- 
vations made in this way, syllabi may be used and written re- 
ports required. 

(8) Observation sections should be limited to the smallest 
possible number of students; certainly not more than ten 
should visit an elementary classroom of the average size at one 
time.^ When syllabi are used, observators can go to class- 
rooms alone or in pairs. 

^ In some of the recently constructed training school buildings, amphi- 
theaters are provided for the presentation of model lessons. This plan, how- 
ever, should not exclude observation in the regular classrooms, where pupils 
work under normal conditions. 


(9) The first observation may be rather general in its nature, 
but each subsequent observation should concentrate upon one 
or two particular phases of class work. 

(10) The writer has found it advisable to require an exami- 
nation at the close of each course in observation. This en- 
courages students to take the work seriously, and furnishes an 
additional incentive for attacking the problem aggressively. 
It is also valuable in that it requires a review of the important 
points and a revival of significant images just prior to the 
beginning of practice. 

An Outline for a Ten Weeks^ Course in Observation. — The 
following outline is intended merely to suggest a general plan 
of treatment. It is based upon a forty weeks' course given dur- 
ing four successive years at the Montana State Normal College, 
and upon a twenty weeks' course given during the present year 
( 1 906-1 907) at the Oswego State Normal School,^ — one period 
a week being devoted to the work in each case. It is, however, 
limited to such phases of observation work as might well be 
undertaken in connection with a course on classroom manage- 
ment. The same general plan can be profitably applied in 
connection with courses in psychology and general educational 

First Period 

This may profitably be devoted to an explanation of the pur- 
pose of the course, especial emphasis being laid upon the con- 
duct of the observators while in the classroom, the attitude 

^ The writer is indebted to Superintendent C. L. Robbins, of the Training 
Department of the Montana Normal College, for many of the questions pre- 
sented in the syllabi. He has also received valuable suggestions from Super- 
intendent W. B. Mooney of the South Dakota State Normal School (Spearfish), 
and from Professor Guy Montrose Whipple, of Cornell University. 


toward the work, the value that may be derived from it, and 
the details of note-taking and summarizing the points observed. 

Second Period. General Observation 

The students are instructed to note the four points concern- 
ing the work of the classroom that make the most distinct im- 
pression upon them. The observation should be followed by 
a discussion in which each student reports upon the points 
noted, stating in each case the reasons for believing them to be 
significant. At the close of this discussion, the instructor should 
state the topic for the following observation, and furnish refer- 
ences that will enable the student to refresh his memory con- 
cerning the principles that are to be illustrated. 

Third Period. General Topic: Attention 

(For this and subsequent observation periods, a syllabus of 
questions, similar to the following, may be profitably employed. 
This does not, of course, preclude subsequent discussion. It will 
be noted that the questions given below are applicable to the work 
of practically any classroom at any period. This makes syste- 
matic observation possible without at the same time requiring 
a special order of exercises in the classroom under observation.) 

General Data: Classroom Observed. Grades Represented. 
Exercises Seen. Date and Hour 

Observe first the study class. How would you characterize 
the attention of the pupils ? What proportion of the pupils 
are giving strenuous attention? How do you judge 
whether a pupil is attentive or inattentive? 

Is the attention in general of the passive, active, or secondary 
passive variety ? How can you tell ? Note any exceptions. 


If you detect any instances of primary passive attention, can 
you determine the instinct that is operative ? 

In cases of active attention, what appears to be the motive or 
incentive? Give reasons for your answer. 

Note any lapses in the attention of particular pupils. Can you 
discover in each case the cause of the lapse ? What seem 
to be the most common distractions? 

Can you detect any rhythms of attention ? If so, how frequently 
do they occur ? 

Has the teacher provided any objective aids to attention, — 
study questions, topics, etc. ? What is their effect? 

Does the teacher give directions or admonitions to the study 
class ? Is the teacher's attention distracted from the reci- 
tation by pupils in the study class ? 

If possible, compare the attention of pupils who are writing with 
that of pupils who are studying lessons out of text-books. 

Observe the reciting class. What proportion of the pupils 
appear to be giving attention to the lesson ? What are the 
evidences of this attention ? 

Compare the attention of the reciting class with that of the 
study class. In which case is the attention more strongly 
concentrated ? In which is it the longer sustained ? Can 
you give any reasons for the differences that you note ? 

What is the character of the attention in the reciting class, — 
active, passive, secondary passive? Note any exceptions 
to the general rule. 

What does the teacher do to revive attention when it lags? 
Note any change of method or device that makes for im- 
proved attention. 

What are the most disturbing distractions in the reciting 
class ? / 


Fourth Period. General Topic: Habit 

Note as many completely formed physical habits as you can 
discover in the pupils. 

Do you discover any physical habits in the process of formation ? 
How can you tell that they are not "full-fledged"? 

Note habits of speech. Do the pupils articulate distinctly? 
Do they do this as a matter of habit? What steps 
are taken to improve habits of articulation and enuncia- 

What grammatical errors can you discover that seem to be 
matters of habit? What correct forms are evidently still 
in the judgment stage? Does the teacher attempt to 
break up inadequate habits by correcting mistakes? 
What effect does this have upon the pupil corrected? 
(Note actual conditions.) 

Note the writing of pupils. Are good form of letters, correct 
spacing, good ahgnment, and adequate arrangement mat- 
ters of habit, or are they obtained through judgment 
processes ? Are the results in writing uniform throughout 
the class, or is there a wide variation among individual 
pupils ? 

Note the blackboard work. If inadequate in any way, can 
you determine just what details need further treatment 
from the standpoint of habit-forming, — size of letters, 
uniformity in size of letters, vertical ahgnment, horizontal 
alignment, spacing, etc.? 

In the work in arithmetic and spelling, what habits are still in 
the formative stage of development? What number facts 
and word-forms seem to be thoroughly automatic? How 
do you judge ? 


Note the points in the teacher's technique that seem to have 
especial reference to the building of adequate habits or 
the breaking-up of inadequate habits. Give instances 
which show the application of the law of habit-building. 

Fijth Period. General Topic: Classroom Routine 

Note the mechanics of the classroom. Note, first, the general 
appearance of the room. Is it orderly and well arranged ? 
If so, try to discover some of the elements that go to make 
up the ''total impression" that it makes upon you — clean 
floors, well-arranged tables, a place for everything and 
everything in its place, etc. 

Do the pupils rise quickly when called upon ? Do they stand 
in the center of the aisle without leaning? Do they al- 
ways arise upon the same side of the desk ? 

Note the movement of lines. If the pupils rise together, de- 
scribe the signals that are used to initiate the movement. 

Note the manner in which pupils pass to the board. Have 
the necessary movements been reduced to habit ? Is there 
any confusion or disorder in the movement that might be 
eliminated by forming specific habits? 

If tablets, books, or other materials are distributed or collected, 
note the mechanism of the process. Can you detect any 
point at which a bit of established routine would save 
time or prevent disorder ? 

Note the precautions taken to have materials for general use 
in readiness — crayon and erasers at the blackboard, ink 
at the desks, etc. 

Is the teacher initiating any new routine? If so, describe the 
method employed. How does it illustrate the law of 
habit-building ? 


Sixth Period. General Topic: Discipline 

Note the class not reciting. Are any of the pupils engaged in 
activities not connected with their assigned work? Do 
these activities disturb other pupils? What seems to be 
the most serious source of disturbance? How seriously 
does it affect the work of the class as a whole ? 

Would you judge the disturbance to be willful and intentional, 
or accidental and unintentional ? How can you tell ? 

Do the pupils who are not disturbing others appear to be 
consciously inhibiting impulses that would cause disturb- 
ance, or is inhibition a matter of habit ? 

If pupils are consciously inhibiting impulses, what appears to 
be the motive or incentive for such inhibition? What 
effect does conscious inhibition have upon the regular 
work of the pupils? 

What is the attitude of other pupils toward the one who disturbs 
them? Does disorder tend to ** spread" among neigh- 
boring pupils? 

What measures does the teacher take to preserve discipline in the 
study class ? Are they effective ? 

Observe the reciting class. How does the "order" compare 
with that of the study class ? 

What general disturbances are caused by lack of control on the 
part of individual pupils? How are these treated by the 
teacher ? 

Do you note any instances of *' volitional action" (conflict 
between impulses or between an impulse and an idea) ? 
If so, describe a typical case. 

In what way does the teacher encourage right choices in cases 
of volitional action? 


What penalties are imposed for misdemeanors ? What is their 
effect so far as you can observe ? 

Seventh Period. General Topic: Affective Qualities 

Is the general tone of the classroom pleasant, unpleasant, or 
indifferent? How do you determine this? 

Can you ascribe the general condition to any specific cause, — 
subject-matter studied, method of presentation, physical 
conditions such as heating, lighting, ventilation, time of 
day, previous exercises? 

What is the effect of the "tone" of the room upon the pupils' 
work ? Does it make them more or less attentive ? Does 
it seem to impede or accelerate memory, judgment, reason- 

Do you notice particular cases of any pronounced emotion 
among the pupils, — joy, grief, hope, satisfaction, disap- 
pointment, sympathy, antipathy, delight? (Take a par- 
ticular case and describe it in detail, noting the cause, the 
physiological expressions, and the effect upon the pupiPs 
work and upon the work of other pupils.) 

Note particularly any cases of extreme depression or extreme 
buoyancy. What appears to be the cause? How does 
the condition express itself, — inertia, light breathing, 
general relaxation ; activity, suffusion of blood to the capil- 
laries, high tension, rigidity, etc.? 

Does the predominant "tone" of the room appear to have any 
effect upon the teacher? Does the teacher take advan- 
tage of any specific emotion or mood appearing in a par- 
ticular pupil ? 

What is the dominant "tone" of the teacher? What is the 


effect of this upon the instruction ? Upon the pupils ? Do 
you notice any ''contagion" of mood or emotion? 

Eighth Period. General Topic: Hygiene 

Note the sitting posture of the pupils. What proportion are in 
an adequate sitting position ? Can you see any permanent 
effects in individual children of bad sitting posture, — 
curvature of the spine, round shoulders, depressed head, 

Are the seats so arranged and adjusted that all pupils can as- 
sume a correct position? What proportion of the pupils 
are ''hung up"? What proportion have desks that are 
too high? Too low? 

Can you by looking over the class notice any pupils who have 
defects of vision ? How do you judge in each case ? 

Is there any evidence that any pupils are defective in hearing ? 
What special measures does the teacher take to aid such 
pupils ? 

What proportion of the pupils appear to be anaemic ? Compare 
the work of these pupils with that of the others. Are they 
listless, relaxed, inattentive; or nervous, high-strung, and 
"fidgety"? Note their manner of standing, their recita- 
tion work, and their general affective tone. 

Would you class any of the pupils as "mouth breathers"? 
If you find such cases, compare them with the other pupils 
, as to ability to sustain attention, ability to concentrate, 
general mental ability, affective tone, and temper. 

Note the lighting of the room. Does the light come exclusively 
from the left ? If it comes from other directions, can you 
note any bad effects in the way of cross-shadows, etc. ? Does 


inadequate lighting appear to affect the "tone" of the 

Is the temperature uniform or variable ? If variable, note the 
effect of changes in temperature upon the pupils and upon 
the work. 

Note any signs of fatigue. Can you distinguish cases that 
appear to be real fatigue from those that appear to be 
merely ennui? 

Note the effect of slight changes in methods and devices upon 
apparent fatigue. What does the teacher do to provide a 
partial restitution of energy? If pupils are given gym- 
nastic exercises, note the result on the work. If free play 
is permitted or if "rest periods" are provided, note the 

What provision has been made for ventilation ? Does it appear 
to be effective? Note any disastrous consequences that 
seem to be the result of bad ventilation. If windows are 
opened and the air is changed, note the effect upon the 
pupils and upon the work. 

Ninth Period, General Topic: Technique of Instruction 

What assignments were given ? Note the amount of time spent 
in assignments. 

What lesson type is represented by the assignment? (Induc- 
tive or deductive development, preliminary focalization 
preparatory to drill lesson, etc.) 

Describe in detail the method of the assignment. 

Were the functions of the assignment fulfilled ? (Did the as- 
signment clear up relatively insuperable difficulties and 
create an interest in the new lesson ?) 


What effect did the assignment have upon the subsequent study 
period ? 

Were devices employed to make the seat-work effective ? (Did 
the teacher provide blackboard questions, topics, objec- 
tive exercises, problems to be solved?) What were the 
effects of these devices upon the study class ? 

What recitations did you hear? Could the recitations be 
classified according to lesson type ? (Development lesson, 
review lesson, drill lesson.) 

If a recitation can be definitely classified as to type, describe 
how the technique of the lesson was adapted to fulfill the 
function of the type represented. (If a review lesson, the 
function of organization ; if a drill lesson, the function of 
habit-building; if an inductive development lesson, the 
function of establishing a general principle, rule, or defi- 
nition; if a deductive development lesson, the function 
of anticipating experience or explaining facts.) 

Tenth Period. General Topic: Technique of Instruction 

Note time devoted to assignment, and describe the methods 

employed in assignment. 
Observe especially the recitation. Classify according to lesson 

Would you characterize the recitation as "question-and- 

answer" or .''topical"? Which of these two varieties is 

demanded by the lesson type represented? 
Are all of the pupils attentive to all of the questions and topics ? 

What precautions does the teacher take to insure such 

attention ? 
Are "pumping" questions employed? Are they justified by 

the lesson type? 


Are the questions broad and general or specific and pointed? 
Give instances. 

Are the questions asked in a logical sequence, or is the con- 
nection between successive questions slight? In either 
case, is the procedure consistent with the lesson type ? (In 
a drill lesson, for example, logical sequence of questions is 
not so important as in a development or a review lesson.) 

If the recitation is topical, note the character of the topics stated. 

Are they broad and comprehensive, or narrowly limited? 

Are subsidiary points included in the statement of the topics, 

or does the teacher expect the pupil to have these so well 

in mind that the statement of the general topic suggests 


How would you characterize the topical recitations of the pupils ? 
(Are they coherent and well organized, or loose and dis- 
jointed?) Do the pupils discuss the topic in such a way 
that the necessary thought-connections are clearly brought 

Does the teacher "prompt" the pupils in recitation? If so, 
describe a typical case. Is the reciting pupil ever inter- 
rupted in the course of a recitation in order that another 
may proceed with the discussion? What effect does this 
have upon the attention of the class? 

Does the recitation close with a summary ? If so, describe the 
method of summarizing. 



Many attempts have been made within the past ten years to 
estabhsh the principle of self-government in the school com- 
munity. Many of these plans have through premature news- 
paper exploitation won an ephemeral notoriety, which the sub- 
sequent results have failed to justify. Others have met with a 
measure of success that would seem to indicate that there is 
something to be said in favor of pupil-government, at least in the 
upper grades of the elementary school and in the high school. 

Probably the most notable instance of a democratic juvenile 
community is the ''George Junior Republic," of Freeville, 
New York. This ''Republic" is peopled mainly by waifs 
rescued from the streets of New York City. It provides a 
community life, partly self-supporting through the labor of the 
"citizens," and almost entirely self-governing. The mem- 
bers of the community elect their own legislature, their police 
justices, their executive officers. The laws are rigidly enforced, 
and penalties, among which the most serious is actual impris- 
onment at hard labor and on a very plain diet, are extremely 
effective. How much of the success of the George Junior 
Republic is due to the dominant and inspiring personality of its 
founder, it would be difficult to determine, but that some credit 
must be given to the principles that are involved is hardly to be 
doubted. It is not clear, however, that the same principles would 
operate with equal efficiency in all schools. The "citizens" of 
the George Junior Republic are different from the average child 
in that they have been accustomed to take initiative and to 



assume responsibility almost from infancy. As a result, they 
are prematurely developed in a great many directions. 

The "School City" is perhaps the most successful form of 
self-government in schools existing under normal conditions 
and catering to the needs of normal children. The establish- 
ment of a school city is almost invariably successful at the 
outset — for the simple reason, of course, that anything that 
is novel, and especially anything that involves self-activity, 
will always appeal to children. When the novelty begins to 
"wear off," however, the duties involved in self-government 
become as irksome as any other duties, and, unless upheld by 
a strong head, the school city soon lapses, and the reins of 
government are again assumed by the principal and teachers. 
Nevertheless, while it lasts, the school city may be a very valu- 
able object-lesson in the mechanics of a democratic govern- 
ment, and it is this feature more than any other that strongly 
recommends the general plan. 

The following "Charter" may be suggestive to those who 
wish to try the experiment. It was framed by Principal 
Norman Strong, of the Arsenal School, Hartford, Conn., 
after a very careful study of the whole problem, — and, it 
should be added, with a full recognition of the general limita- 
tions of pupil-government. It is now in operation in the 
Arsenal School, and has thus far proved to be successful. The 
writer is indebted to Principal Strong for permission to reprint 
the charter here. 


The committee and faculty of the Arsenal School, Hartford, 
Conn., do hereby create the Arsenal School City, granting 


the following charter and delegating the necessary powers to 
carry out its provisions. 

Article I. Citizens and Jurisdiction 

Section I. The citizens of the Arsenal School City shall 
consist of the pupils above Grade III in the main building, their 
teachers, and the principal of the school. 

Section II. Its jurisdiction shall extend to all parts of the 
school property, with the exception of the classroom. This 
jurisdiction may be extended to the classroom by a two-thirds 
vote of all the pupils registered and by the consent of the prin- 
cipal and the teacher. A notice of such action shall be sent to 
the city clerk. 

Article II. Powers and Duties 

Section I. The Arsenal School City shall be a body politic 
with legislative and judicial powers, within bounds, and in 
harmony with, the Constitution of the United States and the 
Constitution of the State of Connecticut. 

Section II. The City shall have the right to nominate and 
elect officers for its government. 

Section III. It shall be the duty of its citizens and its offi- 
cials to maintain such order as is necessary for the best interests 
of school life; to become thoroughly familiar with their city 
charter; to secure justice to every citizen; and to enforce as 
laws, all ordinances that shall be made by its legislative body, 
and such rules and regulations as have been established in the 
school either through custom or by the direction of the principal. 

Section IV. It shall be the special duty of the city officials 
to inform themselves as to the duties of their office by reading, 
and by questioning those most able to give them information. 


Article III. Legislative Department 

Section I. The legislative body shall consist of the citizens 
of the city. 

Section II. A bill to become a law must pass through the 
following stages : — 

1. It shall be presented by any citizen to the mayor and 
principal, who shall, if they think it is a proper bill to come 
before the voters of the city, direct the city clerk to post it. 

2. It shall be posted for five school days. 

3. On the school day following the last day that the bill is 
posted, the citizens, as they pass out to recess, shall cast their 
ballots in their respective rooms. They shall vote "yes" if 
they favor the bill, and ''no" if they oppose it. 

4. During the recess of the day aforesaid, the ballots shall be 
counted and a certified record of the result be sent to the city 
clerk. Two counters and two inspectors shall be previously 

5. The city clerk, with the mayor and the judge of the city 
court as inspectors, shall summarize the ballots. 

6. If the bill shall receive a majority of all the votes cast and 
the signatures of the mayor and principal, it shall become a 
city ordinance. 

Article IV. The Legislative Department 

Section I. The executive officers shall be a mayor, a chief- 
of -police, and a city clerk, elected for one school term. 

Section II. Duties of the Mayor. Clause i. The mayor shall 
be the chief executive officer and, in case of his temporary dis- 
ability, absence, or removal, his duties shall devolve upon the 
following officers in the order given : chief -of -police, town clerk. 


Clause 2. He shall appoint with the consent and advice of 
the principal and the chief-of-police, such police officers as he 
thinks necessary for the maintenance of order. 

Clause 3. Police officers having control of corridors, cloak 
rooms, and basements shall be appointed upon the advice of 
the classes using said parts of the building. (See Art. VI, 
Sect. VI.) 

Clause 4. The mayor shall communicate during the first 
week of the term at a public meeting or meetings the condition 
of the city and make recommendations for its improvement. 

Section III. Duties of the Chiej-oj-Police. Clause i. The 
chief-of-police shall have general charge of the police force. 

Clause 2. It shall be the duty of the chief-of-police to bring 
all persons before the City Court and the Court of Appeals on 
the order of the prosecuting attorney. 

Section IV. Duties of the City Clerk. Clause i. The city 
clerk shall be the custodian of all city property, keep the records 
of the city and post the same. These records shall include the 
following: (i) results of all elections; (2) the ballot on all 
bills; (3) all city ordinances; (4) a complete record of nomi- 
nating conventions; (5) a record of all classrooms that pass 
under the jurisdiction of the city government. 

Clause 2. He shall have power to administer the oath of office 
to the city officials. 

Clause 3. He shall appoint, with the advice and consent of 
the mayor and principal, an assistant city clerk. 

Article V. The Judicial Department 

Section I. The judicial department shall consist of the 
City Court and the Court of Appeals. 
Section II. The City Court. Clause i. The City Court shall 


have original jurisdiction over all cases of violation of the laws 
of the city. 

Clause 2. The officials of the City Court shall be a judge and 
a prosecuting attorney elected by the city, and a clerk of the 
court, appointed by the judge, with the advice and consent of 
the mayor and principal. 

Clause 3. It shall be the duty of the judge to preside at all 
sessions of the City Court, to discharge all persons found not 
guilty, and to sentence those found guilty. To become opera- 
tive, a sentence must receive the written approval of the prin- 
cipal, or a teacher authorized by him. 

Clause 4. The pupil associate judge of the Court of Appeals 
shall preside over the City Court during the temporary ab- 
sence or disability of the judge of the City Court. 

Clause 5. Any person aggrieved by the judgment of the City 
Court shall have the right of appeal to the higher court. 

Clause 6. The jurisdiction of the City Court as to penalties 
may be limited by the ordinances of the legislative department 
and in all cases where no penalty is prescribed by ordinance, 
the court shall impose such penalty as it deems just and equi- 
table, subject to the right of appeal as aforesaid. 

Clause 7. It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney to 
prosecute before the City Court (and the higher court when 
an appeal is made) all violations of the laws of the city. 

Clause 8. It shall be the duty of the clerk of the City Court 
to keep all records of persons brought before the court as 
follows : the defendant's name, his offense, by whom arrested, 
defendant's plea, the defendant's attorney, the witnesses for 
and against, the decision and penalty imposed by the court 
and the appeal. (He shall also be clerk of the Court of Appeals 
and record its decisions.) 


Clause 9. The principal or a teacher authorized by him shall 
be present as an adviser at each session of the City Court. 

Section III. The Court of Appeals. Clause i. The Court of 
Appeals shall consist of the chief justice, who shall be the prin- 
cipal, and two associate justices, a teacher, and a pupil elected 
by the city for one school term. 

Clause 2. The Court of Appeals shall have appellate and 
final jurisdiction on all cases brought to it on appeal from the 
City Court, and original jurisdiction over all applications to it 
for the removal from office of any of the officials of the city. 

Clause 3. The prosecuting attorney, clerk of the City Court, 
and chief -of-police shall also be officials of the Court of Appeals 
when it is in session. (See Art. V, Sect. Ill, Clauses 7, 8, and 


Clause 4. The sessions of the Court of Appeals shall be sub- 
ject to the call of the chief justice. 

Article VI. The Nomination and Election of Officers 

Section I. The Delegates. Just prior to dismissal on the 
afternoon of the Monday of the last full week of school in each 
school term, each room of the Arsenal School City shall elect 
a boy and a girl as delegates to a nominating convention and 
send a certified list of the same to the city clerk. 

Section II. The Convention. Clause i. On the following 
Tuesday at 3.30, these delegates shall meet in convention and 
shall nominate two candidates for each of the following officers 
in the order given: mayor, chief-of-poHce, judge of the City 
Court, prosecuting attorney, a teacher and pupil as associate 
justices of the Court of Appeals, and a city clerk. 

Clause 2. The city clerk shall call the convention to order, 
and a chairman shall be elected. The chairman shall direct 


the city clerk to call the roll of the delegates from his certified 
lists. The convention shall then proceed to nominate candi- 

Clause 3. The principal or a teacher authorized by him shall 
be present as an adviser during the session of the convention. 

Section III. The Election. Clause i. Just prior to the dis- 
missal on the afternoon of the Thursday of the last full week 
of each school term, ballots shall be cast in each room for the 
candidates, and a certified record of the result sent to the city 
clerk. Previous to the election, two counters and two inspec- 
tors of election shall be chosen. 

Clause 2. The city clerk shall summarize the ballots, with 
the mayor and judge of the City Court as inspectors. 

Clause 3. The officials receiving a majority of all votes cast 
shall be elected. 

Section IV. Term of Office. Clause i. The term of office 
of all city officials shall be for one school term and until their 
successors are installed unless otherwise provided for. 

Clause 2. The installation of officers shall take place at such 
time and place as the principal may arrange. 

Section V. Vacancies Filled. All vacancies in office, unless 
otherwise provided for, shall be filled by the mayor with the 
advice and consent of the principal. 

Section VI. The First Election. The first election shall take 
place at the call of the principal. 

Section VII. Police Officers. Clause i. Each room shall 
choose on the last day of each calendar month three boys and 
three girls, and shall send a list of the same to the mayor. 
(See Art. IV, Sect. II.) 

Clause 2. The term of office of a police officer shall be for 
one calendar month and until his successor is installed. 


Clause 3. The first and most important duty of a police 
officer shall be to prevent a violation of the laws. 

Clause 4. A police officer shall make an arrest by serving 
upon an offender the following warrant : — 

Date 19.... 


You are hereby accused of violating a law of the Arsenal 
School City and are summoned to appear before the next ses- 
sion of the City Court. 


Signed Police Officer 

Clause 5. A duplicate of the above shall be sent by the 
poHce officer to the prosecuting attorney at the time of the arrest. 

Clause 6. Before assuming the duties of office, officials shall 
take the following oath : — 

"You do solemnly promise that you will perform with pa- 
tience and courtesy the duties of the office of 

and will, to the best of your ability, preserve, protect, and defend 
the interests of the Arsenal School City." 

Article VII. Amendments 

Amendments to this charter shall be made in the same way 

that city ordinances are enacted, with the exception that they 

shall receive a three-fourths vote of all ballots cast. (See 

Art. III.) 

Article VIII 

This charter shall become operative by the three-fourths 
vote of the city, and shall become inoperative at the close of any 
term by a majority vote of the teachers having classrooms in 
the Arsenal School City. 



In 1905 a set of examination papers written by ninth grade 
pupils in 1846 was found in one of the grammar school build- 
ings of Springfield, Mass. The questions were given to an 
eighth grade class in the same school for the purpose of com- 
paring the results in arithmetic under the older methods of 
teaching with the results obtained under contemporary methods. 
In several other schools throughout the country the same ques- 
tions have been given, and it is generally agreed that they form 
a very fair test of what pupils should know of arithmetical proc- 
esses at the close of the elementary course. They are ac- 
cordingly reprinted below, together with the standings attained 
by the earlier class and by present-day classes : — 

"i. Add together the following numbers: Three thousand 
and nine, twenty-nine, one, three hundred and one, sixty-one, 
sixteen, seven hundred and two, nine thousand, nineteen and 
a half, one and a half. 

'*2. Multiply 10,008 by 8009. 

"3. In a town five miles wide and six miles long, how many 
acres ? 

"4. How many steps of two and a half feet each will a person 
take in walking one mile ? 

"5. What is one third of lysi? 

*'6. A boy bought three dozen of oranges for 37 J cents, and 
sold them for ij cents apiece; what would he have gained if 
he had sold them for 2 J cents apiece? 



"7. There is a certain number, one third of v/hich exceeds 
one fourth of it by two; what is the number? 

"8. What is the simple interest of $1200 for 12 years, 11 
months, and 29 days, at six per cent?" 

The class of eighty-five pupils who underwent this examina- 
tion in 1846 averaged 29.4 per cent. In 1905, the eighth grade 
Springfield class averaged 65.5 per cent, and a class at Frank- 
fort, Ind., 62.2 per cent. 



The following plates are reproductions (reduced in size) of 
papers produced by pupils in the elementary grades. They 
are inserted here as possibly suggestive to the beginning teacher 
of the quality of written work that may be expected from pupils 
in the grades indicated. 

Plate I shows the improvement made in form (arrangement, 
ahgnment, neatness, and good writing) in a period of four 
months. Similar results were secured from the other mem- 
bers of the class. (Grade III "B.") 

Plate II and Plate III also show the growth that may be 
made within comparatively brief periods of time. The first 
paper represented in Plate II is typical of the rather careless 
work often accepted as the best that a pupil can do. The 
second paper, written two months afterward, shows a notice- 
able improvement in matters of form. The first paper of 
Plate III reveals a deterioration in form, due to the intro- 
duction of a new process (the ''long" method of division). 
The second paper, produced three weeks later, shows recovery 
from the deterioration, and also a measurable improvement 
over the second paper of Plate II. 

Plates IV-XIII represent types of written work for the 
various grades. They are reproduced from papers selected 
from complete ''sets" comprising the work of entire classes. 
In every case, the paper is a "first draft," that is, there has 



been no correction or rewriting. The object is to show, not 
the most ** finished" results, but the results that can be ex- 
pected from the pupils, day in and day out, as a matter of 
habit. In every case, the paper reproduced is fairly t)^ical 
of the set from which it is taken. The papers represent schools 
in all parts of the United States — the East, the Middle West, 
the South, and the Far West. The presence of certain con- 
tent in any paper does not, of course, imply that the writer 
necessarily indorses such content for the grade in question. 
The suggestions printed under the cuts indicate possible lines 
of improvement. 

y_rruto. .^^lotLa. yparuu^ 

Id iruJL.-\ emt- 
io abrnDz-z I dJyrpJL. 

doq Kt^oh 

Plate I. — Showing Growth in Form Habits from September to January. 
(Grade III " B.") (Note particularly the improvement in form of figures, 
and in vertical and horizontal alignment.) 



4 L5.1XiL 3,I3H.^0... bUIOii_ 
13JH \7X^ ^IVI 

5110.5.^ 3LL$UX^ SU£JJLS^ 

xrf our rrtcx/ruUr hou/iAt/rvia. dau^? 

XC MCTurrnayYUi/pjiJu) im 6 ojuuJvJj)! 

Plate II. — Showing Growth in Form Habits from November to January. 

(Grade III "B.") 





_ ' ^ 

8.1 i 

1- ^ 



33qb tULiiXiLa- 5-L3-2JLiL 

+.5Aq¥ 1 0? 7 7 50 

Plate hi. — Showing {a) Deterioration in Form on Introduction of New Process; 
{b) Recovery from Deteriorat on. (Grade III " B.") 

X 305 


f" 1 



TJIIxaX (J2.tKJA' 

Plate IV. — Type of Work from First Grade Pupils just Learning to Write. 


uLdJL d(lo 

Plate V. —A Type of First Grade Work. (Rather crowded and some 
figures not well-formed.) 



4<5L"3 M-Ci 

q ieCLrvv9.q«^0Lnxte, 

^ q -1 d/Wb. "S b b CLmjb. 

Plate VI. — An Average Paper selected from all " B " Number Set. (Note 
a " backhand " tendency that needs correction.) 


Plate VII. — A " Story " Paper from Grade III " A." (More uniform slant 
and wider spacing would improve the paper.) 


Tur^-o^A^^ yyxyrionnjt<}Uyny>, 
7t-£rt>rCy lry\y€ruyyTJt>XA.yn^xy>^ 

Plate VIII. — An Average Fourth Grade Paper showing " Medium Slant" 
Penmanship. (Margin needs correction.) 




Joe I SI 6^CL/3 /mAAT^ ^, O^UrUt 

Plate IX. —Arithmetic Paper from Grade V " B." (Lack of uniformity in 
height of letters and figures is the chief defect.) 



l£^ 'fv^AAjjy']/. 'uolacuvJ'^MMK. 

"bPuu^ wlca^ ^ch/vix voW^^ ^ a/\AA-tUx 

crubk, "Urucsut "tKjtu \JLro^jJlcL vurt to-u.cU.'U- ja. 

Plate X. — A " Story " Paper from Grade V " A." (Lines too close together ; 
spaces should be wider between words.) 


"VSaxLi-iXA - 3 u <dL . 2. ^k, . 5 ^A^ ."to- i-A^ , 

">e«.cUvou> M-./^A. a^t.tcrj^. 
I j\d..~ 5"! McL. 

Plate XI. —An Arithmetic Paper from Grade VI " A." (Note vertical 


iKjt, crrtiu xaj^xa^ t>vcxt. ^ Gol/tu oucx^cruA%i^ ^</LtkU 
o^cxA/nAit^ "Uvc puxpjuv <x/rvcL ruTixlA iX iAjuxju* UL/cdx/u 

Plate XII. — An Average Paper selected from an Elementary Science Set 
(Grade VII "A ") . (The " sketch " inserted by the pupil may be profitably 
compared with the elaborate decorations often seen on exhibited papers.) 


e\ •4. PoAjt CJi^.aAv oXAJU (M •uvK«il3w» 

tot p/ueMiAY^ tm. TYbjIjtl.Ji4j^jiAhjff>y ;- 

.D'jLn_&-«J, Siailfm««i f<JvpA4K£4>^ Silmttk 

Ill . ^^ f 

Plate XIII. — An Arithmetic Paper from Grade VIII " B." (What would other- 
wise be good form is impaired by crowding on a small sheet of paper.) 



(Names of authorities cited are printed in small capitals. References given at the end 
of the chapters are not repeated in the index.) 

Absence, 6, 71 ff.; as influencing 

standing, 79. 
Accuracy, tests for, in arithmetic, 236 f. 
Adler, F., 181. 

Adulation as an incentive, 180 S. 
Affective qualities, 285 f. 
Aim of education, 7 f., 226 f. 
Akron, Ohio, course of study cited, 63. 
Alternation of studies, 61 ; in Batavia 

system, 219 £F. 
Angell, J. R., 63. 
Anti-machine theory of government, 

Arithmetic, 5 f., 23 w., 148 ff., 197, 

299; testing results in, 236 ff. 
Art of teaching, 273. 
Assignment, functions of, 192 ff. ; 

helping pupils in, 193 f. 
Association, of cause and effect in 

punishment, 109; of theory and 

practice, 276. 
Attendance, 6, 71 ff.; delinquencies 

in, 72 ff. 
Attention, 137 ff., 188, 280 f.; active, 

140 ff., 158 ff.; function of, 148; 

and habit, 144; passive, 140, 147 ff.; 

in rec* Nation, 212; and reasoning, 

160; rhythms of, 191; secondary 

passive, 143 ff. 
Authority, in securing order, 93 ff.; 

overemphasis of, 95; and justice, 

98; and scholarship, 97. 

Backward pupils, treatment of, 218. 
Baldwin, J., 123. 
Baldwin, W. A., 53. 
Ball-playing, regulation of, 87. 
Batavia system, 214 ff.; applicability 
of, 219 ff.; dangers of, 217 f.; his- 

tory of, 216; program in, 220 f.; 

virtues of, 216 f. 
Bay City, rules cited, 129. 
Bell-Lancaster system, 217. 
Biology, of attention, 139 ff. 
Blackboard, routine in use of, 39 f.; 

neatness of, 48 f.; 235. 
Book vs. oral instruction, 191 f., 205. 
bothwell, j. l., 122. 

Carrington, W. T., 193. 

Chadwick, E., 60. 

Chamberlain, A. F., 126. 

Change, instinct of, 147 ff. 

Chester, Pa., rules cited, 127, 129. 

Chubb, P., 174, 194, 204. 

Cigarette smoking, control of, 87 f. 

Civic duties of teacher, 257. 

Civic virtue, instruction in, 258. 

Civilization, changes due to, 7, no. 

Clark, S. H., 194. 

Class as technical term, i. 

Classes, number of, in relation to pro- 
gram, 57 ff. 

Classification in rural schools, 27. 

Class-individual instruction, system 
of, 214 ff. 

Class instruction, system of, i f.; as 
source of waste, 1 1 ; technique of, 
188 ff. ; advantages and dangers of, 

CleanUness, personal, 88 f. 

Closets, inspection of, 91. 

Commendation as an incentive, 180 ff. 

Competition in securing attendance, 
76 f. 

Compulsory attendance, enforcement 
of, 73 ff. 

Construction, instinct of, 155 f. 




Contagious diseases, 89. 

Contrasts, instinctive liking for, 154 f. 

Cook, W. G., 272. 

cornman, o. p., 238. 

Corporal punishment, 114 S.; by 
whom administered, 128 f. ; dangers 
of, 1 1 5 ff. ; frequency of, 1 16 ; as an 
incentive to study, 164 ff. ; in pres- 
ence of class, 130; limitations of, 
115 ff.; opinions upon, 123 ff.; 
period when most effective, 130 f. ; 
reaction against, 117 ff.; regula- 
tion of, 126 ff.; witnesses for, 129; 
as penalty for tardiness, 78. 

Courage as factor in discipline, 93. 

Course of power, 57. 

Craft spirit in teaching, 100; ideals 
of, 267 ff. 

Curiosity, instinct of, 152 ff., 202 f. 

Daily program, 50 ff.; under Bata- 
via system, 220 f. 

Day session, length of, 51 f. 

Deductive development lesson, 203 f. 

De Garmo, C, 246. 

Delinquencies, necessary, 72. 

Delinquency in attendance, 71 ff. 

Desks, adjustable, 82; arrangement 
of materials in, 42 f. 

Devices, 158 ff. 

Dewey, J., 165. 

Dictionary, use of, 193 f. 

Diminishing returns, law of, in educa- 
tion, 69. 

Discipline, 92 ff., 284 f. 

Distributing wraps and materials, 
40 ff. 

DuTTON, S. T., 123, 170, 174, 184. 

Education, ultimate aim of, 7 ff . ; as a 
creative art, 272 f.; and civiliza- 
tion, 7 f., 180. 

Emotions, as determining attention, 
141; as complicating mental pro- 
cesses, 9. 

Emulation, instinct of, 158 f., 169 ff. ; 
objections to use of, 178 ff. 

Ends, doctrine of, 139 ff.; immediate, 
140; remote, 141 ff., 159 f., 168 
(and ideals), 185. 

Environment, influence of, 4. 

Ethics of Schoolcraft, 267 ff. 

Examinations, 243 ff.; in Batavia 
system, 218; exemption from, 171. 

Excuses, for poor teaching, 269 f.; 
for absence and tardiness, 73 ff. 

Exemptions, as incentives to attend- 
ance, 76; as incentives to study, 
171 f. 

Exercise in open air, 52, 53 n., 86 f. 

Exercises, general, 58 f. 

Exhibition of school work, 173 f., 184, 
234 w. 

Expulsions, 134. 

Factory, analogy of school to, 4 f . 

Fair play, respect of children for, 98. 

Fatigue, general factors of in program- 
making, 56; hygiene of, 86 f.; re- 
cuperation from, 58; relation to 
subject-matter, 56. 

Fear, as an incentive, 162 ff.; instinct 
of, 159. 

Fire drills, 37 f. 

First day of school, 20 ff. 

Formal steps, 197 ff. 

Form vs. content, 54 ff. 

Fort Worth, Tex., rules cited, 128. 

Fundamental vs. accessory, in school 
subjects, 53 f., 273. 

Gambling, 87. 

Games, permitted and prohibited, 

87 f. 
Geography, 203, 206, 207. 
George Junior Republic, 291. 
Gesell, a. L., 47. 

GiDDINGS, F. H., 17. 

Good nature, as factor in discipline, 

98 f. 
Government, 92 ff.; by pupil, 290 ff. 
Grade, as technical term, 2. 
Graded school program, 60 ff. 
Grades, as incentives, 143, 174, 177 ff. 
Grammar, 23 n., 197. 
Group, Hke response of, 17 f.; as 

modifying discipUne, U2. 
Gymnastics, and fatigue, 58. 

Habit, 14 ff., 282 f.; and attention, 
144; and discipline, 95; and ideals, 
186; and initiative, ^2, 34; and 



judgment, 32, 34; and moral 
character, 228 f. 

Habit-building, law of, 15 f.; re- 
sults in, 226; testing, 229 ff.; and 
attention, 233; and spelling, 242. 

Habits, specific nature of, 43 f.; 
hygienic, 80 ff. ; of sitting, 82 ; of 
regular attendance, 71 ff.; of pos- 
ture, 81 ff.; in individual life, 15; 
in education, 11. 

Hall, F. H., 194. 

Hall, G. S., 125, 151, 245. 

Hart, H. M., 76. 

Historj 202, 203. 

Ho>«, G. F., 271. 

Holidays, as incentives, 171. 

Hughes, J. L., 122. 

Hygiene, of eyesight, 85 f.; of class- 
room, 81 ff., 286 f. 

Hygienic duties of Leacher, 256. 

Ideals, as incentives, 184 ff.; of duty, 
103; psychology of, 185 ff.; im- 
pression of, 227 f. 

Idea vs. impulse, 158. 

Illinois course of study, cited, 193, 235. 

Immunities, as incentives to attend- 
ance, 76; as incentives to study, 

Impartiality in administering dis- 
cipline, 98. 

Incentives, 159 ff.; classification of, 
169; highw. low, i68f.; natural v^. 
artificial, 161 ».; positive, 161 f., 
168 ff.; negative, 161 f., 163 ff.; and 
reasoning, 160; and association, 164. 

Incidental learning, 150. 

Individual instruction, i f., 213, 
214 ff.; punishment in, in; tech- 
nique of, 222 f. 

Individuality of pupil, 32, 38. 

Inductive development lesson, 197 ff. 

Infancy, significance of, 7, in. 

Inhibition, an acqviired art, 106; ne- 
cessity of, 92. 

Initiative vs. habit, 32, 34. 

Ink, use of, in school, 44, 85 f . 

Inspiration in education, 35. 

Instinct, 14 f ; inadequacy of, no; 
and active attention, 158; and in- 
hibition, 106; and interest, 168; 

and incentives, 168 ff.; as deter- 
mining education, 139 f. 

Instincts, social, 174, 180 ff.; of 
change, 147 ff.; of construction, 
155 f.; of curiosity, 202 f.; of 
emulation, 158 f.; of fear, 159; of 
play, 150 ff.; of self-preservation 
159; in corporal punishment, 118 

Instruction, class-individual, 214 ff. 
methods of, 189 ff.; technique of 
188 ff., 287 ff.; text-book, 189 ff. 
testing efficiency of, 242 ff. 

Interest, 102 f., 139 ff., 143 ff. ; and 
assignment, 197; and secondary 
passive attention, 145. 

Interests, primitive vs. acquired, 168. 

Jacksonville, Fla., rules cited, 128. 
Journals, educational, 254. 
Justice, in corporal punishment, 117; 
as factor in discipline, 98. 

Keith, J. A. H., 103, 124. 
Kellogg, A. M., 123. 
Kennedy, J., 216, 222. 
KiRKPATRICK, E. A., 234. 
Knowledge, results in, 226; testing, 
242 ff. ; and discipline, 97 f. 

KOTELMANN, L., 8l, 85. 

La Crosse, Wis., rules cited, 127. 

Lancaster-Bell system, 217. 

Landon, J., 2, 123, 215. 

La Salle, Father, 2. 

Latham, H., 244. 

Law of habit-building, 15 ff. 

Laws of attention, 139 ff. 

Leaving the room, 45 f. 

Lecture-method, in assignment, 205. 

Leniency in teaching, 19. 

Lessons, study, 206 ff, ; recitation, 
210 ff.; development, 197 ff. 

Like-response in group action, 17. 

Lines, passing of, 22, 37 f. 

Literature, teaching of, 204, 208 ; edu- 
cational, 255. 

Los Angeles, course of study cited, 193. 

Machine theory of organization, 30 ff. 
Manual training, and discipline, 104; 
in program, 67 ». 



Marble playing, 87. 
Marking examination papers, 248. 
Marks as incentives, 174 £F., 177. 
Mechanics of classroom, 231 S. 
Method, general, 276; special, 276. 
Methods, of instruction, 188 ff.; of 

testing results, 225 flF. 
Mind, function of, 15. 
Monitorial work as an incentive, 172. 
Monitors for distributing materials, 28. 
Montana, course of study cited, 235. 
MooNEY, W. B., 279. 
Moral character, and habits, 228; 

as aim of education, 226 ff. 
Moral health, 90 f. 

Nagging, 166. 

Natural punishments, 106 flf. 

Neatness, personal, 88 ; of classroom, 
43 S. ; of written work, 47 f. 

Needs, primitive, 165; as determin- 
ing education, 139. 

New York, state course of study cited, 

Normal school, observation in, 275 ff. ; 
policy of, 276 n. 

Objective teaching, difficulty of, 277. 
Observation, course in, 275 ff. ; prin- 
ciples of, 277 f.; syllabi for, 279 ff. 
Oral vs. book instruction, 191 f., 305, 
Oral vs. written work, 1 73 f . 
Order, 92 ff., 284 f. 
Organization, economy of, 13 ff. 
O'Shea, M. v., 8, 57, 58, 246, 275. 
Outlines, topical, 209 f. 

Paper for school use, 85. 
Parents, cooperation of, 133, 178. 
Passing, formaUty of, 175 f. 
Payne, B. R., 54. 
Payne, W. M., 272. 
Pencils for school use, 85. 
Periods, standard length of, 60. 
Persistence as factor in discipline, 

95 f. 
Play, supervision of, 86 f . ; instinct of, 

150 ff. 
Pleasure-pain theory, 106. 
Portland, Ore., course of study cited, 


Posture, habits of, 81 ff.; in sitting, 
81 ff.; in standing, 84 f.; in writ- 
ing, 83 f. 

Practice vs. theory, 275 ff. 

Praise as an incentive, 180 ff. 

Preparation of lessons, 252. 

Pride of pupils in school, 182 ff. 

Primacy as factor of recall, 20. 

Principal, duties of, 262; sending 
pupils to, 134 f. 

Privileges, as incentives to attendance, 
75 f.; as incentives to study, 172; 
loss of, as penalty, 132. 

Prizes, as incentives to attendance, 
75 f.; as incentives to study, 169 ff. 

Professional duties, 251 ff. 

Professional study, 253 ff. 

Program, for first day, 24; daily, 
50 ff. ; necessity of adhering to, 
69 f. ; in Batavia system, 219 ff. 

Promotions as incentives, 174 ff. 

Psychology, educational, 3 f . ; of atten- 
tion, 138 ff. ; of habit, 14 f.; of 
ideals, 185 f.; and observation, 277. 

Punctuality, 77 ff. 

Punishments, 105 ff. 

Question-and-answer recitation, an. 
Questioning, art of, 212. 
Questions, examination, 245 f.; study, 
207 f. 

Rapidity in number associations, 
237 f. 

Raub, a. N., 57, 58. 

Reading, 6, 193 ff.; professional, 
254 f. 

Reasoning, capacity for, 160. 

Rebukes as penalties, 131. 

Recesses, providing for, in program, 
52 f.; and discipline, 86, 104, 

Recitation lesson, 210 ff. 

Reform in schools, 14. 

Relaxation, 86. 

Repression in childhood, 31. 

Results, responsibility for, 263; spec- 
tacular, 184; testing, 225 ff. 

Retroversion, to lower grade, 177. 

Rice, J. M., 248. 

Rivalry, 169 ff. 

ROARK, R. N., 58, 123. 



RoBBiNS, C. L., 279. 

Room, as technical term, i. 

Routine, of classroom, 37 S., 283; 
in group action, 17 f.; justification 
of, 33 ff.; as factor in discipline, 
102; of teacher's life, 250 ff. 

RUEDIGER, W. C, 210. 

Rural schools, program of, 64 ff. ; 
supervision of, 265; classification 
of, 27. 

Scholarship, as affected by absence, 
79 f. ; as a factor in discipline, 97. 
School city, 290 ff. 
School day, length of, 51. 
School duties of teacher, 250 ff. 
School exhibits, 184. 
School organization, 261 ff. 
School year, length of, 51. 

SCHWICKERATH, R., 1 79, 180. 

Scolding, as negative incentive, 165 f. 
Seats, conditions to be fulfilled by, 

Seeley, L., 123, 178. 
Selection, natural, in instinct, 100. 
Self-preservation, instinct of, 159. 
Shaw, E. R., 81, 85. 
Signals for class movements, 38 f. 
Simultaneous system of instruction, 

I f., II, 189 ff. 
Sitting, proper position in, 81 f. 
Slant writing, posture for, 84. 
Smith, J. H., 85. 
Smyser, S., 223. 
Snell, S., 85. 

Snowballing, control of, 87. 
Social duties of teacher, 258. 
Social efficiency, 186, 226 f. ; as aim of 

education, 7 f. 
Social instincts, 174, 180 ff. 
Social values of studies, 247. 
Social vs. primitive life, no. 
Social vs. scholastic standards, 175. 
Soft pedagogy, 177, 205, 218. 
Speech, testing habits of, 235. 
Spelling, teaching of, 195 f.; testing, 

238 ff. 
Spencer, H., 106, 107 ff. 
Spontaneity, 3. 
Sports, permitted and prohibited, 

87 f. 


Springfield questions in arithmetic, 

299 f. 
Standards, social vs. scholastic, 175; 

of good teaching, 225. 
Starting aright, importance of, ao f. 
Strong, N., 291. 
Study, art of, 207 f. 
Study lesson, 206 ff. 
Study period, problem of, 189 ff., 

207 ff.; in Batavia system, 221 f. 
Study questions, 207. 
Substitution vs. repression, 103 f. 
Suggestion, in breeding moral disease, 

Superintendent, duties of, 261 f. 
Supervisors, duties of, 264 ff. 
Suspensions, 132 f. 
System, economy of, 13 ff.; in educa- 
tion, 261 ff. 

Tact as factor in discipline, 94 f. 

Tardiness, 6, 77 ff. 

Taylor, J. S., 124, 125, 174. 

Teacher, relation to superior officers, 
262 ff. 

Teachers' associations, 255. 

Teaching as a creative art, 273. 

Tests, for educative values, 9; for 
results, 225 ff. 

Text-book instruction, 189 ff. 

Text-book lesson, 192 ff. 

Text-books, difficulties in use of, 
191; classification of, 190; tech- 
nique of use, 192 ff. 

Theory vs. practice, 275 ff. 

Thorndike, E. L., 103, 165, 238, 245, 

Thoughtlessness, as excuse for mis- 
demeanors, 95 f. 

Tidiness of classroom, 45 f. 

Time sense in children, 78. 

Toilets, inspection of, 91. 

Tompkins, A., 123. 

Topical analysis, 209. 

Topical recitation, 211 f. 

Topics, study, 209. 

Ungraded school (see Rural school). 

Vaccination, 89. 
Variety, desire for, 147 ff. 



Vertical writing, posture in, 84. 
Visiting schools, 183 f., 255 f. 
Vividness in assigning lessons, 195. 
Voice of teacher, loi f. 
Volitional action, 159. 

Waste, sources of, 11. 
Whipple, G. M., 279. 
White, E. E., 67, 122, 123, i6i. 
WiU, 159. 

Worry, avoidance of, 99 ff. ; evils of, 
in pupils, 176. 

Wraps, collection of, 23. 

Writing, in study period, 210; pos- 
ture in, 83 f. 

Written work, supervision of, 43, 
252 f.; neatness of, 47 f.; testing, 
232 £f.; 301 S. 

Young, R. G., 193. 

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Bagley # Classroom 
management : its principl 

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Classroom management 


Classroom management